Oui Love is a platform for French bands to get more exposure in the UK. What are we doing bringing them up on a blog all about bands from Brighton, I hear you ask? We’ll get to that later…
Oui Love started a few years ago, and as well as bringing bands to tour the UK, it’s also brought them over to festivals, becoming a regular feature at The Great Escape. Last night, with Melting Vinyl, four bands played under the Oui Love banner – three French and one linked to Brighton (see – I can write about the night here!).
I arrived as Yan Wagner was onstage, playing lush electro. The synths said New Order, but the vocals were more brooding. Next up, Jupiter took to the stage. The three piece had a great pop sensibility, with coquettish female vocals over songs which drew from the great French House tradition. Definitely ones to watch, for sure. Headliners Juveniles struggled for a while with some kind of short circuit which pulled the power on their equipment after a couple of bars, and the time taken to fix it ate into their set meaning they only got to play a few songs. What they did play was fantastic though. Loud exuberant live house, with clattering drums and rich bubbling synths. If only they could have played for longer.
That’s enough about French bands though. This is Brighton Music Blog after all. The reason we went along to the evening was to see the evening’s third act – Omega Male, who released their debut album last week. Half of Omega Male is David Best from Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi. When I found out that David Best was working with Omega Male and that Matt Hainsby was working on his own I Am Ampersand project, I feared that maybe we wouldn’t hear from Fujiya & Miyagi again, but seeing the rest of the band in the audience has put those ideas to rest. Omega Male’s live setup has Best on vocals and guitars, and Project Jenny Project Jan’s Sammy Rubin on keyboards and backing vocals. I sensed a certain nervousness – maybe it was because it’s one of the band’s first ever gigs, maybe it was the home crowd, or maybe it was because he didn’t have the safety of the band that he’s been playing with for over ten years – but there was no talking inbetween songs, and many were performed with eyes closed. The set followed a different arc from the album – where the record closes with the serene beauty of Buildings Like Symphonies, this was thrown in quite early into the set which built up to bigger, more up tempo songs later on, which made sense for what was predominantly an evening of dance music. Live, they don’t match up to Fujiya & Miyagi just yet, but I have no doubt they can achieve it in time – All they need is a bit more stage presence, and maybe a huge closing track they can jam out to, like Best’s other band have with Electro Karaoke.
The Oui Love winter tour heads to The Shacklewell Arms in London tonight, and then onto the Soup Kitchen in Manchester on Thursday. Omega Male only performed at the Brighton leg of the tour.