Electrelane – live at Route du Rock Festival – St. Malo – August 12, 2011 – RFI –
Electrelane, live at Route du Rock Festival, St. Malo from August 12, 2011 and broadcast by Radio France International.
Electrelane formed in Brighton in 1998 by Verity Susman and Emma Gaze. The band comprised Susman, Gaze, Mia Clarke, and Ros Murray. Their music drew from a wide range of influences including Neu!, Stereolab, Sonic Youth, and the Velvet Underground. Although the band had strong feminist and political views in their personal lives, they generally preferred to not communicate that directly to their fans or through their music; one exception is their inclusion of the protest song “The Partisan,” which they began playing while on tour in the United States during the months preceding the 2004 Presidential election. The band, when playing live, had a reputation for a focused show that minimised audience interaction and rarely included more than one encore.
Their fourth studio album, No Shouts, No Calls and their first which was entirely digitally recorded and mixed. The group began writing material in Berlin’s Planet Roc studios in the summer of 2006, at the height of the World Cup. During that period, the band became fans of the sport, going so far as to rearrange their recording schedules around the event and including a sample of a match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Moskva in the song “Five” on their new album.
In August, Electrelane released Singles, B-Sides & Live, a rarities collection that included a number of live performances as well as original versions of tracks from their debut album. In September and October, they were in Benton Harbor recording and mixing their album. In November, the band announced on their official website that they had finished recording and had titled their album No Shouts, No Calls. The album was released in on 23 April 2007 in Japan, 3 May 2007 in the US and 30 April 2007 elsewhere. The first single, titled “To the East,” was released on 12 March 2007. The album received generally positive reviews, with Heather Phares of AllMusic calling some songs “among the band’s finest work”; detractors included Leonie Cooper of the Guardian, who mentioned the band had a “penchant for turning every tune [into] a proggy wig-out.” James Reed of the Boston Globe picked the album as one of the best of 2007. In May and June 2007 the band toured the United States with Tender Forever and opened for Arcade Fire on several of their shows. For the rest of the summer, they played the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan as well as various festivals in Europe, including La Route du Rock, Summercase, Montreux Jazz Festival and Festival Paredes de Coura.
In early November 2007, Electrelane posted a message on their website, explaining that they would be on an indefinite hiatus. Their “last” show “for the foreseeable future” was on 1 December 2007 in Brighton, England. On 14 December, the band organized a benefit for the Anti-Trafficking Alliance at the Barfly in London. They did not perform, choosing to DJ instead.
In case you missed them the first time, here’s a chance to catch up and this memorable concert is a prime example of why they’re missed.
Play loud – you have to.
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