REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Electronic dream pop trio Au Revoir Simone fail to ignite

After a sold out date at XOYO last year, Brooklyn trio Au Revoir Simone return to London to play the Garage.


Taking their name from a line from Tim Burton’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Au Revoir Simone’s (Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D'Angelo) breakthrough album was Still Night, Still Light (2009) a delicate album that combined folksy songs with an electronic background, their most recent album Move In Spectrums was a delicious slice of ethereal synth pop, it shimmied and quivered with emotional intensity and marked a definite shift in direction, the accompanying live date on its release at XOYO showed they could also recreate this charm live, but for this London show it didn't quite happen.


Struggling with a set list that was unevenly balanced the Brooklyn three-piece failed to get the crowd going early on and as a result the leaden show felt like it was struggling to find its sparkle. Opening with new songs More Than, Just Like Tree and Gravitron for an audience that had clearly only vaguely heard Still Night, Still Light, failed to connect, it wasn't until 'old song' Another Likely Story everyone woke up. And the inclusion of beautiful, but emotionally devastating We Both Know straight after brought the tone and pace down just as it had started to get going. It wasn't until The Lead is Galloping, Shadows, Crazy and Somebody Who with the introduction of guitars to break the monotony of the synths that the show took on more of a dimension.


The encore of All Or Nothing and Knights and Wands finally showed the sparkle and excitement that they are capable of, but by that time it was too late. At times the songs felt slowed down and oddly flat, the performance wasn't helped by the appalling lighting that left the stage in mostly darkness for the entire set, so dark at point the poor girls couldn't see their keyboards. Dodgy lighting, a non-plussed mid week crowd and a flat selection of songs made this appearance a real disappointment.

CLICK HERE to read our album review.