Review by Elizabeth Connor/Photography by Kane Howie
Hot Club De Paris make the type of music that’s difficult to hate. Checking in at Bandangos 5th birthday celebrations at the newly revamped Proud Camden, the Liverpudlian trio saw in the resident DJ’s half-century booze ‘n’ birthday cake knees up with their signature slice of angular guitar rock.
Following a somewhat unfathomable performance from Sky One’s overnight sensation and notorious column incher Andrew Stone, fresh from a stint in the Big Brother house and under the guise of his band and stage outfit Starman, (think Scissor Sisters making out with Stacie Q on acid) all eyes were keen to see how the Liverpudlian trio would deliver. But deliver they did. Taking to the balloon littered stage, the band fired their perfectly precise math rock and angular, jangly guitar riffs at the unsuspecting crowd. Bizarrely anthemic and unquestionably uplifting, the sing-along choruses and sea shanty barbershop harmonies ubiquitous with the bands signature style made for an energetic stage presence.
Not to be confused with a one trick trio, the bands sound has certainly progressed since their first album. If their 2006 debut Drop It ‘Till It Pops saw the band forging their early style, their newest package of 2010 EP’s comically named With Days Like This As Cheap As Chewing Gum, Why Would Anyone Want To Work? And The Rise And Inevitable Fall Of The High School Suicide Cluster Band sees them grasping both texture and trademark lyric to stalwart effect. Somewhat like a rubix cube of riffs that chop and change right at the last second so all the colours match to a blinding, crescendo finish of perfectly syncopated guitar texture, Hot Clubs latest sound is a lesson in how to shed a stereotype. With various diverse influences ranging from Black Flag to Billy Brag, it’s easy to see how the band has created such a complex melting pot of sound over the years. Trilby hats (and skinny jeans) off to the band, no longer just a cheeky gimmick, they’ve outgrown the indie-for-the-masses tag they (somewhat unfairly) gained from the explosion of 2006 working class hero ‘lad’ bands that emerged during the mid noughties. Walking the line between humour and sincerity always with startling honesty as displayed in the poignant I’m Not In Love And Neither Are You, it’s impossible to not be charmed by the band’s latest offering of off-kilter punk.
Perhaps the perfect compliment to a 5th birthday party; playing with all the experience of a well-oiled indie outfit and singing with all the knowledge of a band that’s somewhat older and wiser, a single line of cacophonic Hot Club magic does more to liven the birthday spirit then all of Stone’s pelvic thrusting. Lifting the crowd with their energetic Fuck You, The Truth!, this is undoubtedly the band at their best. Strangely unchanged by the past, they still lookand talk like the fresh-faced trio I saw supporting the now defunct Komakino back in 2006. Closing the set with an almighty guitar-driven goodbye, it’s impossible to leave the venue without smiling. Fuck you, this is the truth: Hot Club De Paris have still got it.