Promoting relatively new album, Solide Mirage, Francois Marry and his wonderful Atlas Mountains took to the stage of Mono in Glasgow to offer a show that Mono has probably rarely seen, a mirage, some may say. Supposedly “a response to recent world affairs”, their fourth album clearly still carries their distinguished but their gleeful sounding indiepop, from their set last Thursday.
Albeit a little paradoxical, they are not short of popular and sought after as the venue was packed and awaiting a synthesised, danceable and energetic show. Their music could just as easily depict a summers afternoon rather than social commentary on an apocalyptic and uncertain future. Weaving rhythms with melodies, with tracks like Grand Dérèglement, there is a notable African influence that underpins their music.
Prior to stage time, Amaury Ranger promised a performance on a grand scale, with some confidence, and I could see precisely why. Anticipating their choreographed rhythms, both musically and physically, there was no disappointment from my side. With not a dry forehead on the stage, the five musicians clearly worked assiduously at not only impressing their fans and audience, but also at enjoying this very gig themselves.
Francois and the Atlas Mountains, now securely recognised as being on London-based label Domino, the Franco-Belgian band fronted by Francois Marry released their fourth studio album back in March, with some new additions and changes to the Atlas Mountains. Notably, Gerard Black is no longer with the band, focusing on Babe, but was not shy of performing with the lads on stage.
The all-too familiar ingredients of a Francois and the Atlas Mountains are all there despite their political move with new members. Delicately warm vocals, rhythmic drumming and Afro-pop phrasings are evident, with the affectionate smiles of the band as they dance to their own creations. And why not? With tracks such as Tendre Est l’Ame and Apres Apres included on this new record, it would be virtually impossible to stop that toe from tapping. However, they do more than that, including a guitar-playing side-step.
The setlist does not entirely consist of tracks from the new release, as their long term fans are treated to prolonged, opulent versions of Je Suis De L’eau (Plaine Inondable), Les Plus Beaux (from E Volo Love)and La Verite (Piano Ombre). There was only one thing that could perhaps have given this gig the shiny coating, and that would be a concluding euphoric performance of Piscine. However, there was not a dissatisfied face in the venue and they were after all promoting Solide Mirage.
Photo by Tom Joye.
For more on Francois and the Atlas Mountains and their tour click here.