One day last summer, during the famous cockroach infestation that has been reasonably well documented on here, I found 0ne of the little blighters crawling out of my underpants. Thankfully, I was not wearing them at the time, but the sensation experienced was not dissimilar to hearing today’s offering for the first time. Vive La Fête are basically a couple from Belgium, Danny Mommens and Els Pynoo, who got together (in more than one sense of the word) while Mommens was still playing guitar with his former band dEUS (yeah, I’ve never heard of them either). The story goes that a set of 8-track demos were released around that time as Je Ne Veux Pas (aka Paris). What they didn’t want was not specified, but their glam electronica gained them a lot of attention due apparently to its 80s throwback style.
But what interests us is their sole Festive Fifty entry, Noir Desir (FF 2003 #15), the 12 inch of which came out first on the Surprise label, and then reappeared on the LP Nuit Blanche. What first struck me, apart from the breathy French lyrics, was the similarity in the melody to, of all things, Teenage Kicks!. Pynoo takes centre stage here as she gives a very convincing portrait of a chanteuse disintegrating into temporary (?) madness, lyrically and sonically, and the song allows her to indulge in the frenzied screaming that took me aback so much. The pounding beat recedes and then returns with renewed force as if to say that the anger Els feels, ‘angry like a child’, refuses to subside.
I haven’t heard anything of their remaining output, being a little distrustful of a band who are revered by Karl Lagerfeld, but after the atomic incandescence of this, which equals Bohemian Rhapsody in length but says a lot more to me about the human condition, I feel there’s no need. This rules.
Vive La Fête, Noir Desir