Thursday, 11 February 2010

Oh My Love

MP3: Oh My Love

John & Jehn, aka French couple Nicolas Conge and Camille Berthomier, are a beguiling pair. Their first album was a smouldering collection of heavily stylized, dark pop songs gleaning influence from The Velvet Underground, Sugar and Suicide. Jehn plays a Farfisa organ and John a clanging, resonant guitar. They are stick, thin, spidery, and beautiful.

Tonight is the first time I've seen them in a year, since they relocated from London to Paris. They've expanded to a four piece in the meantime, playing with a bassist and drummer - a move that might have warped their dynamic, but in fact fleshes out their sound into something that could easily fill a festival arena. It helps that the four seem beyond close as friends, easily switching between instruments and joking throughout. They play a set comprised almost entirely of new material, but it sounds just fantastic, and the audience are suitably transfixed.

They swap instruments throughout, and towards the end of the show Jehn ends up on bass guitar. She puts up a foot on the bass drum as she starts playing. John turns around and sees drummer Raf getting an eyeful of her underwear, and laughs as he spins around and starts to sing. It's a moment that characterizes the band's performance - love, enticing warmth, overt sex appeal, easy friendship, beauty and exhuberance. John & Jehn as a band are as irresistable as ever.

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