Live music in Paris? It’s out of order

It’s been 6 years since Melbourne band Jet sprung to international fame (and were given a lot of iPods) with “Roll over DJ”, a song heralding the death of DJs and the return to favour of live music.

Well I know that you think you’re the star
A pill poppin’ jukebox is all that you are
So tell me it ain’t that way
What’s you’re name?

Funnily enough, Jet was also the last live band I saw play in Melbourne, in 2006. And they were rubbish – full of rock star swagger and adolescent theatrics.

Last Wednesday I went to a concert at the Olympia, one of France’s most celebrated live music venues. I love live music because it’s best (only) way to see which bands were created in a studio, and which ones were created on the stage. A concert always makes you like a band more or like them less.

We were there for a 4 band concert, but primarily to see the Wave Machines, who had one hit over summer. I emphasise one, because this was clear from their live show – for the number, the docile crowd removed their hands from pockets and some even swayed, a little. Still, they are a young band and the popularity of the radio hit means they should not be prematurely written off.

Speaking off getting prematurely written off, that’s what I was interested in. I missed the second band because I was at the bar. Violens was their name, they come from New York, and yes, they’re on MySpace.

The third act was when things got interesting. It was fronted by a well-aged man – he was 10 years younger than my dad – but the ensemble was tight and they were supported by simple and effective lighting. They had a visible cohesion.

“This is Chrystal,” he announced, before launching into a song that was a hit in Australia about 8 years ago. WTF? I know this song. Who are these guys?

Then he introduced the next one as “a song we wrote with the Chemical Brothers.” The song was “Out of Control.” The audience wasn’t however, and stood passively by, hands back in pockets. If they swayed, it’s only because they too had been at the bar for the second band.

By the time the group played a song that I recognised from the Trainspotting album, I was completely confused as to who I was watching. A well-rehearsed cover band? Their name, Bad Lieutenant, I’d never heard of.

The fourth band, headlining, was Bat for Lashes. They had great stagecraft, and a great sound quality. But you know what? The music made me want to slit my wrist.

I went home early to check the identity of the mystery band. It was New Order, pioneers of rave music,  as seen in 24-hour Party People.










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