Wednesday 17 July 2013

Les Bonbons - Sous L'Arche De Macfarlane

EP review by

Possibly taking their name from the Jacques Brel album of the same name, Les Bonbons are supposedly a duo, with one member, Fred Bonbon, from Paris and the other, Billy Bonbon, from London. Whether either are actually French is open to debate. As you'll see from looking at their backing band (Lady Bonbon, Graham Brûlée and Toby Le Rhône) there's a whiff of novelty about the whole thing. 'Sous L'Arche De Macfarlane' is an EP of songs with a French flavour that borders on, and occasionally steps into, parody; the whole thing seems to be a bit of a joke, but it would be wrong to write a band off for being fun.

You're transported back in time straight away with 'Django Rendez-Vous', a jazzy number sung partly in French and partly in English. There's nothing to strongly dislike about the song but it's unlikely to be one you'll be gagging to revisit, as is the case with most novelty music, and therefore this EP as a whole. The lively 'A Whispered Melody' fares better and the spiralling guitar is quite nice, it's the closest they come to removing their tongue from their cheek and this is the reason why; it's not that Les Bonbons are bad musicians or bad songwriters, it simply seems that they've chosen to put their talents to something with a very short shelf-life. 'London Town' is back to partially likable parody again, but the less said about 'The Sexual Appetite Of The French' the better. Les Bonbons have achieved what they set out to do, so it's difficult to knock them, but outside of filling half an hour at a festival one afternoon it's hard to see what purpose these songs will serve.

Les Bonbons' website

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

Aug 29 O.R.T, Birmingham, UK
Aug 30 Lodestar Festival, Cambridge, UK

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