Damo Suzuki at The Old Blue Last, London

 

 

 

 

Kenji Suzuki, better known as Damo Suzuki, is a Japanese musician who has been living in Germany since the early 1970s and is best known as the former lead singer of the German krautrock group Can.

 

Kenji is a very inspirational artist for me. I love his approach to making music, he is challenging music industry convention with his improvised lyrical style, leading the ‘sound carriers’ to make each show a unique experience.

 

 

 

The ‘sound carriers’ for this show were Gently Tender who swapped instruments around vibing with Kenji’s spontaneity.

As I arrived at the venue Kenji was standing outside and I was able to say ‘Hi’ and grab a quick picture with him.  You can tell he is a lovely guy, a true artist who is doing this for the love of music and Live performance.

Definitely a Live music highlight and getting to meet Kenji in person made this a special gig for me.

 

 

The Pearl Harts + The Velveteers at The Shacklewell Arms

 

Two of the best punk rock bands around.

I didn’t catch ‘CLTDRP’.  I’m not sure if they were on earlier or a bit later.

The Shacklewell Arms is a nice venue as well, the atmosphere was good with a decent size crowd.  I recognised a few faces from the Siren Calling Fest as well, which was nice.

For me this was a better LIVE gig experience than bigger name bands.  I prefer the smaller venues, and this one has a great punk rock vibe. Also good to see bands early on their musical journeys.

 

 

THE VELVETEERS

 

 

 

 

THE PEARL HARTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L’ÉPÉE – ‘DIABOLIQUE’

 

L’ÉPÉE – ‘DIABOLIQUE’ est belle.

Thank you so much Emmanuelle Seigner (Ultra Orange & Emmanuelle), Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) & Lionel & Marie Liminana (The Liminanas) – and everyone involved in producing this very beautiful album.

Je l’aime tellement. Merci beaucoup.

 

 

CARGO RECORDS: 

 

This is the debut album release from L’ÉPÉE , the band are Emmanuelle Seigner (Ultra Orange & Emmanuelle), Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) & Lionel & Marie Liminana (The Liminanas) . It is very rarely that a musical project lives up to the billing of being a ‘supergroup’. However, the exception to this rule comes in the shape of L’Epee.

A stellar combination of the talents of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, cinematic femme fatale Emmanuelle Seigner and ice-cool pop provocateurs The Limiñanas (Lionel and Marie Liminana), L’Epee transcend artistic and traditional borders.

“We are living in very culturally insular times, so it feels really good to be swimming against the tide,” says Anton of the band’s bi-lingual, cross-continental approach.“There’s something really positive about branching out, collaborating and taking risks.” Far from being defeated by a world seemingly regressing into turmoil, L’ Epee’s strength comes from a long history of challenging the status quo.

From Anton’s legendary battles with ‘The Man’ with The Brian Jonestown Massacre to Emmanuelle’s eclectic screen career to The Liminana’s community-minded ethos- setting up their own record shop, L.G.D.C, and promoting gigs by the cream of the world’s garage rock scene (New Bomb Turks, Oblivians, Fleshtones, Revelators) -they share a fierce intelligence and an outsider aesthetic which, over the decades, has been sharpened to a razor’s edge.

Fitting, then, that their name translates as The Sword. “It came to me in a dream,” explains Anton. “I woke up and there it was, ‘The Sword’. Someone told me there had already been a band with that name so I flipped it into French. It suits the band because we’re united in a common cause.” This pent-up creative energy has been channelled into their extraordinary debut album, Diabolique. Named in tribute to Mario Bava’s 1968 cult classic ‘Danger: Diabolik’, it’s a musical masterclass where elements of garage, ye-ye, sleaze rock, cult soundtracks, sci-fi, spaghetti westerns and girl-group pop noir are combined with the cut-and-thrust zeal of a band bursting with ideas and energy.

All delivered by Emmanuelle in a sultry Gallic drawl which will send a frisson of recognition through anyone familiar with her iconic roles in, among many others, Frantic, Venus In Fur and Bitter Moon (all directed by her husband, Roman Polanski). “I’ve loved rock music since I was a kid,” she says, namechecking Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground and The Stooges as key influences.
“I always wanted to be a musician, but it wasn’t so easy in France as I couldn’t meet the right people. Then I became a model and then very quickly after that I did Frantic and became an actress. It worked for me, but in my heart I always wanted to do music.”

Having asked close friend Bertrand Belin to provide lyrics for three further tracks (‘Grande’, ‘On Dansait Avec Elle’ and ‘Lou’), the trio set to work at The Limiñanas’ studio in Cabestany, Southern France, in November 2017 -with Emmanuelle, ever the perfectionist, fine-tuning them the following February.

Satisfied with the results, the trio flew to Berlin to hook up with Anton and (Liverpudlian engineer) Andrea Wright at his Cobra Studio in Berlin Utilising a treasure trove of vintage equipment (“I’ve got way more ‘60’s gear than The Beatles and The Stones had, I’m mad for that stuff”, explains the BJM man), Anton set to work, re-recording the drums with Marie and adding -and deleting- tracks so that the shifting layers of sound suited the mood of each individual track.

“I’ve got plenty of other ways to express myself, so I really enjoyed taking a backseat, creatively,” he explains. “Lionel is such a great composer. There’s a very visual sense to his songs and I was very conscious of not stepping on his intentions too much. There were some really interesting sonic things I would add, like a track of the craziest feedback, to give a song a weird ambient quality. It’s the role that Brian Jones had in the Stones, or Warren (Ellis) has in Nick Cave’s band. Musically, they’re all over the map, but they make things happen.”

“It was so inspiring to see Anton work,” says Emmanuelle of seeing him in action.
“When we sent the songs to him they were good, but they were nothing like how it ended up. He’s so talented, like a genius. He made the whole thing darker, more interesting and more psychedelic.”

 

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Available at CARGO RECORDS

 

So glad I decided to pick up tickets to see L’ÉPÉE LIVE at Earth in London in December.