French Films, Ideal Bar, September 2013

French Films: A cut above ‘ideal’

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French Films ***** (5 stars out of 6); September 19 at Ideal Bar
French Film’s musicianship illuminated Vega’s Ideal Bar Thursday night (Photo: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the 21st century of globalisation and cultural fusions, where a Finnish band by the name of French Films can perform songs loosely rooted in classical American pop influences that shudder with clangs of the Beach Boys and The Ramones in central Copenhagen.

French Films marked their return to Danish soil last night following their widely popularised outing at Roskilde’s Pavillion junior stage last year, and what a return it was. Clad in skinny jeans and leather jackets that echoed the sartorial traits of bands such as The Libertines, the Finnish quintet stepped on stage looking blasé and calm, following solid warm-up work by local band The New Investors. The compact confines of Vega’s Ideal Bar allowed the audience to get very close to the stage, rekindling memories of one of the summer’s most promising festivals, Henry’s Dream, where a band with an orientation like French Films would be right at home.

The boys from Helsinki were quick off the mark, getting straight to business with a hot-to-trot opener followed by ‘Take you with me’ off their debut EP, 2010’s The Golden Sea.  Lengthening the proceedings,  songs such as ‘Ridin’ on’ off 2013’s marquee album White Orchid added form and substance to what was ultimately a very intimate concert that had sweat dripping off the walls of a sweltering Ideal Bar.

Invariably, the distinct indie pop renditions of French Films do tend to sound rather repetitive after some time, as one feels lost in the thick mass of strums and heavily percussive melodies. In spite of this, the concert did seem to grow in stature and depth, as the musicians used the full width of the stage to perform with a tremendous amount of energy and free spiritedness. By the end of the show, many of the evening’s guests found their feet and torsos swaying from side to side in sync with the rhythmic instrumentals, backed by vocal patterns that sent wave upon wave of sun-drenched summer memories into the cold September night.

French Film’s musicianship is a joy to watch, and their sheer energy on stage is a tremendous compliment to their rich, absorbing take on rock. Far too adroit to be playing at Ideal Bar, expect bigger and brighter things from them in 2013 and an almost certain graduation to bigger concert venues for their next visit to Denmark.

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