ARLT @ Café de la Danse (16.05.2012)
First thing that you need to know (if you don’t know yet) about ARLT: they are French and they also sing in French. Maybe they are the first “French-singers” included in Bolachas and let’s to be honest: there is, in general and outside of France, a little resistance to French music. Yeah, I admit: my first commentary about ARLT after I saw them for the first time was something like “wow, they sing in French but they are really awesome!”. So, I will break that myth at least here in Bolachas and I will promote a bit of French music, as I was living in France (oh wait…).
I saw ARLT for the first time in Balades Sonores (again: one of the best places in Paris – I wish that everybody could visit it!) and that happened by accident. In fact, I went there to see Mariee Sioux, which played after them, as they share the same label in France: the stellar Almost Musique. I really loved their showcase, in such a way that I listened to them incessantly during the following days and looking forward to see them again.
Finally, my new meeting with them happened this week, at Café de la Danse.
Haight-Ashbury, the supporting band, brought from Glasgow some psychedelic folk songs such as Freeman Town and Everything is Possible. Some of their Parisians fans danced with a lot of enthusiasm in front of the stage, receiving the songs as they were sunshine (yeah, it was a bit bizarre). Beyond that, the three elements of the band – a boy and two very vintage girls (gotta love your grandmother’s dresses!) were really friendly, so I like to met them.
But let’s talk about ARLT. At Café de la Danse, ARLT presented Feu la Figure, their last album that came out on 23th April and that is a successor of La Langue, released in 2010. Feu la Figure includes some veiled figures, as the phantoms, the bones or certain animals and therefore dissect the songs is a very difficult exercise because, as the French say very often, “ce n’est pas evident”, not even with the help of the dictionary (my best friend on last months). However, you don’t need to understand every word that they sing to fall in love with them…
Sans mes bras, my favorite song of Feu la Figure, opened the concert and nobody needs to know French to realize that it is a love song… This song is just an example of how perfect is the mixing between the voices of Eloïse (“voix d’eau”) and the voice of Sing Sing (“voix de terre”). In fact, the strong complicity between Eloïse and Sing Sing is stunning – damn it, they really rock together.
But ARLT are more than these two amazing voices and the guitar of Sing Sing: in the left side of the stage, discretely sited on a chair, Mock completed all the songs with his fabulous guitar. In the L’eau froid, third song of their performance, we were arrested by a guitar duel between Sing Sing and Mock, naturally smoothed by the volatile voice of Eloïse. Eloïse, the beautiful Eloïse, which wore a cute red dress and that sometimes carried a hammer on her hands.
During the rest of the concert, they didn’t forget any animal that was included at Feu la Figure: Une sauterelle, Le ventre de la baleine, Tu m’as encore crevé un Cheval, Rhinocéros and Chien mort, mi amor – all of them passed by Café de la Danse. Besides of the animals, who brought a lot of joy to the concert, Le périscope (another great love song) and La ville est triste (last song of Feu la Figure), spotted two calm and a kind of melancholic moments at this night.
Additionally to every song of Feu La Figure, as it was expected, they also played some themes of La Langue, especially at the end of the concert. My favorite “old” song was Je voudrais être mariée, a cover of a traditional song that Eloïse performed in such a perfect way.
I should also tell you that Sing Sing tried to escape from the stage to the audience twice! In the first time he left his guitar with Eloïse, but on the second one he acted like a rock star and he played for a while among the people that was seated on the floor near the band. Eventually, he went back to the stage, but after two encores ARLT went way, after a concert that reinforced my faith in the French music and my particular love about this amazing band.
1. Sans mes bras
2. Une sauterelle (dessinée par un fou)
3. L’eau froid
4. Le pistolet
5. Je voudrais être mariée
6. Le ventre de la baleine
7. Le Périscope
8. La Rouille
9. La ville est triste
10. Tu m’as encore crevé un cheval
11. Château d’eau
13. Chien mort, mi amor
14. De haut en bas
15. Que se passe-t-il?
16. Des dents
17. Lettre morte