Sebastien Tellier + Lykke Li • Scala • 4.28.08

Mai 5th, 2008 by admin

There was no shortage of great shows in London last Monday, but without a doubt the hottest ticket in town belonged to Sebastien Tellier’s sold-out performance at the Scala, featuring support from none other than shit-hot industry darling Lykke Li. Having already seen Lykke kill it in intimate venues around London on multiple occasions and with the news that Tellier had added a live drummer to his already solid synth-and-guitars live set up, I went in with high-ass expectations, only to be treated to one of the best shows of the year.

First and foremost, Lykke Li is a fucking superstar. Every time I’ve seen her seems to be better than the last, but she set the bar ridiculously high this time out, winning over an audience at a show that sold out before her name was even added to the bill. Every single song owned its studio-recorded counterpart, and while “Little Bit” and set-closer “I’m Good I’m Gone” went off every bit as brilliantly as expected and more, it was future single “Breakin’ It Up” that stole the show. Curiously left off the set list at previous shows I’d seen her play, it stole the whole damn show on Sunday night, and sounded like a whole new song when compared to the version found on record. Tweaked and reproduced a bit, this could be a huge single after Atlantic inevitably ride “I’m Good I’m Gone” and “Little Bit” into the ground in a few months’ time.

MP3: “Breaking It Up” – Lykke Li

Aforementioned closer “I’m Good I’m Gone” was, as expected, brilliant as well. The song’s “I know your hands will clap” lyric seems tailor-made for audience participation, but I guess I was the only one lame enough to throw up the handclaps she was fishing for. Lykke pointed to me with her drumstick and we had some serious eye contact for a solid 7/10ths of a second or so and I kind of felt like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Timberlake concert. For serious.

MP3: “I’m Good I’m Gone” (Sumo Edit) – Lykke Li

Then it was time for Tellier to get his sexy on, and he took the stage a short time later and launched into “Kilometer”, which sounds like it was nicked straight from Justin Timberlake’s songbook (or rather, Justin Timberlake’s songwriters’ songbook), and provided the perfect lead-in to what would prove to be a phenomenal set. Sexuality’s a great album in its own right, but I really can’t stress how much better every song sounds live when those massive and unrelenting synths are just washing over you, in that deep kind of visceral way. “Divine” followed shortly thereafter and totally slayed, with Sebastien rolling around the stage and giving a little preview of the antics to follow. Things got filthier and filthier as the set went on, as we were treated to the sight of Seb spanking the piano, fellating the microphone and, uh, stimulating the mic stand. There were also sex noises. Lots of sex noises.

MP3: “Divine” – Sebastien Tellier

He closed with an empire-toppling medley of “La Ritournelle”, which saw him solo on the piano for the song’s first half before bringing in a barrage of drums and synths after his first vocal refrain, which slowly decrescendoed into the opening notes of Sexuality-closer “L’Amour et La Violence”. Then it was off the stage and outside for a cigarette (I’m making a pretty safe assumption here) before he returned for a rousing performance of “Sexual Sportswear”. Words cannot do justice how amazing this track sounds with live drums, and as there’s not much for Seb to do on this one given its lack of vocals, he threw in some sex noises for good measure. Naturally.

MP3: “Sexual Sportswear” – Sebastien Tellier

Back to the grind then for a few more exams and then driving down to All Tomorrow’s Parties with the Les Savy Fav bros next weekend. Pumped.

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