Hercules & Love Affair, Lille Vega, Copenhagen. 26 June 2008
Electric Picnic Teaser!
Take eight random B-movies, pick one character from each, put them on stage with brass, and mixers and what not, call them Hercules & Love Affair and let them play some fresh disco/pop/house to a sweaty little Copenhagen room and sweet Jesus you have a party. The collective Danes here are jigglng about at just the sight of them walk on stage which is a good start for a band who have long expressed a desire to simply get people dancing.
Playing live without Antony Hegarty, who’s distinctive vocals really lifted their debut album (because – as they told State after the show – he’s well busy finishing off his new album) they still pack a fantastic disco punch from the off. Up front are the female vocal duties team of ‘The original Mr. Gayboy’ Kim Ann Foxman and the most wonderful Nomi, the tall and sparkling visual centre of the band who’s, ehh, -enhanced’ frame jumps about constantly and gives it SO much cabaret that it’s almost impossible not to be boogeying. Centre of the stage, and the musical centre of the band is Andy Butler who’s bopping around behind his own bank of gadgets for the whole gig too, between the brass section and a fantastically tight rhythm section.
Starting with the somewhat downtempo -True False, Fake Real’ they soon lash into the stronger tracks from the album (-You Belong’, Athene’) and then there’s a point, a tipping point when either your reporters last glass of Tuborg Classic just kicked in or everything in the room clicks but first single -Blind’ really slams it and Nomi fills Antony’s role in this song perfectly (it’s actually hard to imagine the big fella up there on stage with these guys).
They don’t touch any other Antony songs in the album which leaves a fair gap in what they can play but, hey, what about a 10 minute massive disco version of -Don’t Fear The Reaper’ – how about that? That’ll do VERY nicely thanks – State is left wishing we knew all the words as it’d be SO much fun to be all singing along at this stage. We get a costume change from Nomi thrown in too and the whole place is leppin’ around now. A final crowd sing-along for -Hercules’ Theme’ and barely an hour gone and the band are out of tunes (there is some argument amongst the State team about whether they are also out of tune in parts) but it’s a small and perfectly formed set and we’re all a bit wrecked and sweaty and needing a smoke. State had the good fortune to run into them on their way to DJ in the bar upstairs and amidst promises to be up the front at the Picnic we just had time to grab a quick photo before letting them get us up dancing one more time. They are really going to bring a party to Stradbally at the end of August so so not miss these guys at the Electric Picnic. It might be the best sex you ever had.