Air. Hair. Shirts from A-Wear
Or the French equivalent.
They have nice bass sounds.
This is an improperly-formed haiku I composed during one of the many keyboard solos that Air performed tonight. It is, initially at least, easy to forget that this is 2010 and the band on stage are a modern pop combo. As one song with a kooky keyboard solo leads into another, it is easy to get confused into thinking that it’s 1974 and Emerson, Lake and Palmer are playing the Olympia. Except, thankfully, Air keep the songs exceedingly concise throughout.
Most of the blame for this ineffectuality can be apportioned to the mediocrity of their most recent material which pales in comparison to the likes of their Talkie Walkie and Moon Safari albums. And, unfortunately, the set is front-loaded with new material. It’s half an hour into the set and my braincells are looking for the best word to rhyme with bland for another poem. And then something happened. Air played -People in the City’. Nearby, a curly-haired gurning man frugged away to his heart’s delight and the show took a much-needed diversion into excellence. Snowflakes appeared on screen to accompany a beautiful abridged version of -Radian’.
From thereon in, the excellence continued. Love 2 album highlight, -Be The Bee’ resembled the greatest ever lost sci-fi theme tune while -Kelly Watch The Stars’ simply rocked. Throughout, the bass sounds simply astounded. Whether synthesized or plectrum-plucked, Air know when a bassline should be heavy and rumbling or light and melodic. They even got around to displaying a rye sense of Gallic humour. On asking anyone who can speak French to sing along to the next tune, they played -Alpha Beta Gaga’ – a song with no lyrics, just whistling.
After an hour and a half, the show ended with an epic version of -La Femme d’Argent’, backed by sublimely hallucinogenic visuals. So, ultimately, the boys done good and proved there’s a lot more to them than whimsical Progness and neatly-coiffed hair. All in all, despite a slow start, tonight was un peu spÃ©cial.
Photos: Sara Devine