Europavox II, the nomadic twin of France’s annual Europavox festival, settles down in Brussels on Thursday for three nights of pancontinental pop, folk, rock and electronica. Belgium’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse so the nation’s populace could presumably do with a bit of a lift. Maybe some of Europavox’s bands can provide it. The Greek and Portuguese acts on show will certainly know a thing or two about financial gloom and Ireland is represented at the fest by Funeral Suits, but here’s a taster of what else is in store over the weekend. Imagine a sort of indie Eurovision. It’s a bit like that (i.e. It’s not at all like that actually, but it’s important to get references to the Eurovision out of the way, isn’t it?).
One of the biggest turns over the weekend will be Parisians Naives New Beaters, who are gaining momentum on their home turf for their anthemic pop rap. London native Julian Peretta is likely to draw an enormous crowd – he looks like a hunky X Factor type, has toured with Mark Ronson and Beyonce, is already big in France and is hoping to break the UK in 2011.
Marsheaux are a Greek synthpop duo and they are extremely good in a dark, Depeche Mode sort of way. If you love Client or Ladytron, you’ll snap up the girls’ icy electro like it’s going out of fashion (and let’s face it – it is).
Instrumenti are a Latvian duo and they’re a bit loopy, so they dress as pandas when they’re onstage. They’re now roaming the world in search of an audience for their quirky pop, and I hope they locate their missing trolley while they’re about it.
It’s not all synthy duos. Take Wildbirds and Peacedrums – they’re performing with a choir and are likely to be one of the fest’s highlights:
Meanwhile Mazgani, a Portuguese singer-songwriter, does a line in slightly earnest acoustic rock:
… and Italians My Awesome Mixtape are not that unlike a less trippy Cut Copy on a tight budget.
Souad Massi already has a sound that conjures up sand dunes in northern Africa, so it will be intriguing to see how the Belgian crowd take to Souad’s Arabian folk-pop on a wintry night.
Madjo – another rising star in France – will be showcasing some folk pop:
It promises to be an interesting series of shows. Can the alternative pop bands of Europe save the Belgian economy? Will Instrumenti’s pop-artvstatements prove to be completely impenetrable? Can Marsheaux cut it live? Find out the answers to these questions and more later this week on State. Au revoir, mes amis!
Photo: Olivier Tralongo