Juniore @ The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool @ 15.11.18

Parisian alt. pop specialists deliver a sterling set of chansons live on Merseyside

Nov 16th, 2018 at The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool / By Richard Lewis
Juniore Building on the support of the BBC with the 6 Music A-listed Panique (is this the first time a French language song has been on there?) and the excellent reviews of UK debut set Magnifique, nonpareil Parisian alt. pop outfit Juniore arrive on Merseyside.

Opening with a slow-paced spooked chanson that underlines the band’s gothic undertow, the wonderfully downbeat Je fais le mort follows soon after (check out the Père Lachaise Cemetery lyric video for the words in full).

Appearing as a trio minus keys player Laure Weisdorf, lead singer and songwriter Anna-Jean and ‘The Thing’ switch places on keys and guitar, Swanny Elzingre’s exemplary skill behind the kit keeping everything in check throughout. The Thing, aka Juniore/Le Femme producer of note Samy Osta appears in his regular Grim Reaper outfit, in keeping with his usual stage attire.

Marabout, augmented by Stereolab style keys provides one of the highlights, as does a beautifully poised rendition of A La Plage, introduced as not ‘wanting to go to work on Monday morning and spend time on the beach instead’ a sentiment the world over.

Mon autre is led off by Swanny, who extorts the crowd to replicate the scream that appears on the record, while En Retard, understandably minus the vocalist who appears on the LP, actress Joséphine de La Baume, sees the vocals handled with aplomb by Anna-Jean.

L'accident and Difficile highlight the group’s surf rock influence, while the skipping pace of Extra Lucide, which seems to recall the score from iconic French horror film Les Yeux Sans Visage goes down especially well, unfortunately lacking the ghostly noises from The Thing due to a lack of microphones.

Proof of how strong the band’s compact catalogue is, brilliant earlier cuts Les héros de Barbès and Un twist are left to one side to understandably focus on the tracks from Magnifique.

The band's best known song to date the aforementioned Panique provides the summit late in the set. Extended into a garage rock banger via an instrumental passage led by Swanny and The Thing leading the audience in unison clapping, the song surely has to rank as one of 2018’s best tracks.

While the vocals could have been a tad louder, the low-ceiling environs of The Hold showcases the band’s ‘ye-ye noir’ sound in incredible style. Closing with the slowly descending riff of Ouh Là Là that develops into a swirling garage rock jam, the trio leave the stage, new converts and adherents completely sated. A new album and tour next year please?