If you follow dance music in NYC, then we were sometime in the same place, Studio B, on Saturday night, or you got sick drunk at the GBH anniversary party at Webster Hall and didn't make it to Greenpoint. Hercules & Love Affair played their first official show in support of their self-titled (awesome) debut album and it wasn't bad for a beginning.
After a painful waiting until 1:10 am or so, the band took the stage wearing oversized hercules tees with the word "banjee" stamped across in the middle, with a couple of trumpets, couple of synthesizers, drums, bass, H&LA's mastermind Andrew Butler behind synthesizers, keyboards and who knows what else, and two of the three H&LA's cool singers: Kim Ann and Nomi (no, Antony was not there). It's pretty funny tho, H&LA features a mix of cool homosexuals, or at least they look like them: Andy has the looks of a gay bear type, Kim is a girl in need of some dancing classes, who probably likes girls, and Nomi, well, she is the hottest transsexual I've seen in a long time. Ah yeah, she sings pretty well, and amazingly, she can pull Antony's vocals off when he is not on board, which is both not an easy job at all and will happen a lot.
Show started slow with True False/Fake Real, which closes Hercules & Love Affair (have I mentioned already how good this album is?). It was clear that the band hadn't been playing live. Both Kim and Nomi sang here. Kim initially looked timid and dancing awkwardly, asking permission to one leg to move the other one, but I guess it all was understandable nervousism. Her moves won me over shortly after though. Next Kim gave so much of her in Shadows, Blind's B-side, that her moves then looked cute to me. Her singing was great. I hadn't heard that song before, like mostly everybody else in the room because no one was really dancing or singing yet, just staring at the good interpretation, but it was so good that I am so buying that single when it comes out here, if ever.
The very sensual Nomi was a different story... she knows how to dance in short sexy outfits. It wasn't until hints of Blind, the best dance track of this 2008, were played that excitement was all over the club. Definitely, the decidable moment of the show. It was meant to make the statement of whether Nomi was going to suck taking over Antony's vocals or not. She surely did not suck tho, she was fantastic and looked great at it. Look, she even changed her dress along the show... very old style. She's a diva:
Later, when she sang Belong I fully realized she was indeed the voice behind that track on H&LA. Like her looks, she definitely sounds like a man with a soft voice or a girl with a thicker one... a really good one for disco style.
I thought the show was too short, but now that I look at the set list it wasn't really that short for a band with just one album... maybe I feel that way because the album is so good that you want to hear live all of it. This is what they played:
True False/Fake Real
I'm Telling You
Classique #2 (really good!)
Precious Little Diamond (a cover of Fox the Fox's?)
Raise Me Up
There were two new songs to my ears, two songs that are not on H&LA: I'm Telling You and Precious Little Diamond. I don't remember how good Precious was, and in fact whether it was a cover or not (?), but I'm telling you, I'm Telling You was excellent. So, where can I find that song?
Overall it was a good show with some weak moments. Sound was not the best, there were several technical problems in between songs, Kim didn't do a great job singing Raise Me Up (understandable too because no one else has Antony's tubes!), Hercules Theme was too slow for my groove and sounded like if it were being dragged to be played (although the brass section was excellent and was more notable here), and well, Antony was not there.
I am sure next time they play their city again after their extensive European tour, they will sound much more tight and hopefully we will have all my three new favorite queers on stage. [photos of the show]
Were you at the show? How did you like it?
Hercules & Love Affair Links: Stream Hercules & Love Affair, Official Website, MySpace, YouTube, Wikipedia