Live review: Rough Trade at Point Ephemere

Bootlegs, News - Published: 7 May 2014

Top London record store popped over the channel to take over Point Ephemere for Disquaire day, here’s what happened…

Rough Trade Pitchfork Paris Shop Robin PopeAt Le Point Ephémère, Record Store Day’s French mistress Disquaire Day prematurely came a day early. Kicking off the free festivities at 5pm, Le Point Ephémère was invaded by cool music stuff such as French “youth” radio station Le Mouv’ and the increasingly mainstream Rough Trade. Le latter has set up a record store in le Point Ephémère with prices cheaper than your average Parisian disquaire. Annoyingly yesterday they had colour coded the crates in which sat the records. Black crates were the record store day exclusives. Red were Rough Trade’s regular catalogue. Although there was a very small sign announcing that the contents of the black crates were not for sale until the next day, it was clear the English blokes manning the desk were having a good laugh taking the piss.

Aidan Knight took to the stage at 6pm. These popular Canadians had a second gig to go to right after. But 6pm is too early for French people. There were about ten people in the room. At one point Aidan Knight attempted to engage the little crowd by recounting the pitfalls of consuming large quantities of French cheese in a tour van. This results in the tour van smelling like cheese. Anybody else got the same problem? Silence. And it was a shame because the music was good. They played ambient indie pop. They had a violin and a trumpet. Obviously trumpet is an excellent addition to any band. Violin however can be tricky but in this case it worked out pretty well. They played a short set that was thoroughly enjoyable. But the band could not believe that even the small number of people chose to stand at the back of the room and not move at all. Welcome to France, eh.

Joe Goddard from Hot Chip was next with a DJ set. He looks like your uncle. He is excellent. He span dancy retro beats. The room was fuller by this time. In fact it was almost full. And everybody stood completely still. Joe couldn’t work out what was going on. By about half way through he had pretty much given up and was just chatting to mates while each song played. The music was great; Joe was great, but nothing. It was almost impossible to stand still and yet this crowd insisted. Joe finished, put his backpack on, and probably headed off to a family dinner.

OY came on stage in unison with Joe Goddard’s departure. This duo was extraordinary. The singer had a bride of Frankenstein hairdo. The drummer was dressed like a regal squid. Electro African beats blasted through the room. We learned that at the beginning there was milk. We learned not to run to the funeral of the man who was running and had stumbled and died. We learned that one should eat chicken and drink beer at the same time. They looped sounds and droned through repetitive mantras. For the duration of the set they were our new gods. They were the fountain and source of all knowledge. They were fucking excellent. Still no one fucking danced.

There was a break at this point between OY and Black Strobe. Laura Leishman broadcast her show live. Watching a radio show be broadcast live is really boring. Le Point Ephémère really started filling out too. By the time Black Strobe were to hit the stage it was getting hard to move.

Black Strobe are old blokes. They play sixties style blues tunes over electro beats. The lead singer had ostensibly dyed black hair slicked back with seemingly an entire tub of gel. Either that or he uses grease. You couldn’t move in the crowd. Handy as no one was dancing anyway. They played a very weird cover of Folsom Prison Blues. In fact, the whole thing was pretty bloody weird.


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