First gig of the year for me is a surprise treat. Synth punk CUIR (Leather) released one of my favourite albums last year, so I could hardly miss the opportunity to see him at my local venue in my adopted French town of Angoulême.

Opening tonight is relatively local band MYCIAA. Their blurb reads “if MYCIAA are adept at DIY (ethos) it’s only to reinvent themselves better with each album and to live each gig as if it’s the end of the world”. With four albums under their belt, they transform from meek offstage to wild and chaotic onstage, committed to their particular brand of electropunk noise. Their set was only marred by technical problems for their guitarist, who, after swapping guitars, took up the mic and joined the lead singer. If “life, death, electropunk, vegetarianism and animal liberation” are your thing, check out their Facebook page for details.

CUIR has the shorter set tonight, given that his album runs at a mammoth 19 minutes with 11 songs. For fans of OFF!, Ramones and Sigue Sigue Sputnik, from the one-word chorus of ‘Maniac’ (one word in the whole song, actually), it’s a series of short, sharp ear-worms. In his pink, rubber gimp mask, he’s joined by two masked ‘potes/mates’ on guitar and samples, occasionally battering a keyboard. It deserves to be busier, but given the current situation, I’m just glad to be here. Hopefully, soon he’ll be making floors shake in packed clubs. Whether it’s ‘Cut, Cut’ or ‘Schlag’, the lyrics aren’t essential, your head will be nodding along. It’s slightly tongue in cheek; before we’re dead, let’s get pissed and enjoy it all. The video for ‘Cut, Cut’ has him dancing with the grim reaper.

Quality over quantity, then. And an early night! A great way to kick off the new year. À bientôt…

Author: Martin Chamarette