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TEC002 @ Boogaloo, London
Sunday April 29 2012


It ain't the eighties any more. You've only got to check out the drinks prices at the bar to verify that. But tonight's crowd is intent on partying like 1990 never happened. This gig - officially called TEC002, and isn't giving your gig a code number a none-more-eighties thing to do - is assembled by The Electricity Club, a bunch of eighites electro-heads who dig all things synthy from that well as a few things synthy from the present day that have the right kind of style about them.

That's why we're grooving to the DJ-set-cum-laptop-manipulations of Fotonovela, who on closer inspection turn out to be the backroom boys from Marsheaux. With their Fotonovela hats on, they mash up an assortment of 80s chart smasheroonies into a seamless megamix, where the Eurythmics meet Blancmange in a flurry of beats. It's not quite a live show, not quite a DJ set, but it's fun.

MarsheauxIt's Marsheaux who everyone's waiting for, though. The backroom boys switch hats (well, actually they switch shirts, but conceptually we know where we are, right?) and the, erm, frontroom girls take up positions behind their samplers.

As the Human League would say - there are no guitars. What Marsheaux do have, though, is a repertoire of insanely catchy pin-neat electropop songs, every one precision-engineered to tug the listener onwards and upwards until the chorus arrives like the opening of a flower on a sunny day.

Which is how it's got to be done in the world of electropop, of course. Without any opportunity to hide behind masses of squalling guitars, the songs have to stand up for themselves. Marsheaux songs do just that. From the melting ice cube that is 'Computer Love' (imagine if Kraftwerk's robots joined a dating agency) to the newie 'Inhale', with its rush-and-push rhythm and new wavey vocal, the set is an ever-shifting flow of insistent, naggingly addictive electro anthems.

It must be said there's not much visual excitement at a Marsheaux gig. The backroom boys bounce enthusiastically behind their laptop, while, up front, Marianthi and Sophie look like the coolest girls in school behind their samplers. And that's the way it is throughout the gig: no grandstanding, no showboating, nobody throws crazy shapes. But it works. It works because Marsheaux are clearly having a good time themselves - the old cliche of electro artists being all frowny and frosty carries no weight around here - and, anyway, the songs just keep on doing the business.

Marsheaux'Dream Of A Disco' sounds stripped-down and purposeful - it's first cousin to Blondie's 'Heart Of Glass', and I think we're certainly getting the CBGB version tonight. By way of a big finish, another new song, the groovy exhortation to get down and get with it that is 'Come On Now ', and suddenly Rusty Egan - him of the Blitz Club, him out of Visage - jumps on stage, grabs a set of drumsticks, and starts laying into the synthi-drums. It's clearly an unplanned moment. Marsheaux look momentarily thunderstruck, then grin with delight as the Rusty-powered beat cracks and wallops the song to its climax.

There's time for one more drink before home time. Time to brave those twenty-first century bar prices once again. Nope, it's definitely not the eighties any more - but you know, on nights like this the twenty-first century is a lot of fun, too.


Marsheaux: Website | Facebook

Fotonovela: Facebook

The Electricity Club: Website | Facebook

For more photos from this gig, find Marsheaux by name here.




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Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.
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