Lets face it, The BRITs are too commercial, the Mercury too exclusive and the Grammy’s way too cheesy. All those glitzy, self-congratulatory award dinners full of record company execs chopping out lines in the toilet with platinum credit cards are for losers. Additionally, any self- respecting musician who accepts a knighthood, OBE or MBE is blatantly a c**t and loses all credibility so we at The London Music Blog have decided, for the good of humanity, to introduce what will no doubt soon become the music industry’s most sought after prize, The LMBAOTM, which in a quirky twist of fate almost spells Lobotomy.
Honourable mentions this month go to Hooded Fang whose Kinks-on-PCP stylee really binged my bong and Crows Parliament with their thrown-back, bluesy, gutsy, groovy rock which made me feel like growing my hair and drunkenly canoeing down the Tallahassee river with shotgun-shooting in-bred rednecks, in the nicest possible way of course.
However, even their sterling efforts were eclipsed by a really interesting new band on the London scene. Joke time: A Frenchman, a couple of Russians, a Spaniard, a bloke from somewhere no-one’s heard of and a Canadian walk into a bar. Barman says, “I assume you’re here to play a fascinating and exciting form of musical fusion incorporating a variety of styles in an imaginative way?” Boom-tish. OK, it’s not really a joke at all, just a way of introducing a band for whom unpronounceable names are as integral as real musical skill, The Atelier.
Hailing now from West London but originating from places as diverse as Moscow and Reunion Island (which, according to Wikipedia is somewhere near Mauritius) The Atelier came together in autumn last year and are now gigging regularly. They combine a variety of strands, from rock, to jazz, to funk, in a skilful way that works without sounding too pretentious or muso. The sound is built on the deft and dynamic drumming of Thomas Jarlier and combines with guitars, piano and vocals to create a really intriguing mix, slightly reminiscent of Sarah Gillespie and her exploits with Jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. Probably best showcased on their recent video ‘Gold’ (reviewed here this month by Seb Hodgkiss), which swerves from Sade-esque smoothness to thumping stabs of funk-rock, The Atelier add to the current crop of bands who can really play their instruments and are prepared to break previous taboos by not being afraid to reference Jazz in their music (the Stepkids also fit this category).
Their first EP is due to be released in April this year and in addition to their regular gigs at London venues, they will be playing a showcase / launch event on the 5th April at the Bar Music Hall in Hoxton. It will be genuinely intriguing to watch this band and see how they develop and I just feel there is something about them that typifies modern London. After all – a band composed of 5 different nationalities, none of them English. How much more ‘London’ can you get?
By Mark Turley