Me & My Drummer - Electricity Showrooms, London 10/05/12
German duo Me & My Drummer popped over to sunny Shoreditch last week for one of their first performances in the UK and of their debut album The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey. From what little i knew about the unassuming, shock-blonde pair it was a slight visual disconnect to them poised to play above a flashing disco floor, but nevertheless, surrounded on all sides by curious on-lookers, the show felt intimate and I was most eager to see how their often brooding and intense sound translated.
Vocalist and pianist/synths Charlotte Brandi exuded the calm that only someone from a background of stage music can. No, it's the calm of someone from a stage background and with a voice that can absolutely floor you, seemingly, most impressively, with an absolute minimum of effort. Not only that, but the cadences, melody lines, rhythms and such are complex and irregular, and her work on the keys was hardly pedestrian either. A heady balance of husky and angelic, shifting from intimate to room-filling, Brandi's voice was transportive and Matze Pröllochs' considered beats and percussion were essential to their sound.
The set comprised mostly of tracks from their forthcoming album with a couple of older ones I'd not heard, and apart from a select few that have stringed accompaniment on record, or in one example an a cappella backing, all were just as, if not more potent in the flesh. It's an inherent weakness in a duo that the aforementioned 'fuller' songs aren't going to be performable live for a while (if ever, although seeing them backed by a full orchestra is now a pipe-dream of mine.) Still, these guys aren't just incredible song-writers and performers, they had entertaining, personable banter and seemed to thrive on being on a level with the rapt audience.
Bottom line, try your absolute best to catch them early and up close, whilst you still can. Despite relatively downbeat songs and the madly flashing floor-show, Me & My Drummer were extravagantly entertaining live.
Opening with some gentle piano that is soon accompanied by some sumptuous vocals, Me and My Drummer's 'Don't Be So Hot' is immediately attention grabbing. There’s a hint of Charlotte Brandi's German accent as she sings "I want to believe in magic" in perfect English, while the aesthetics of the song recall Slow Club's quieter moments and Regina Spektor’s quirkiness. [read more]
Me and My Drummer don't exactly have the most imaginative of names, and their origin story is unusual but not shocking by any means. Charlotte Brandi and Matze Pröllochs met through the theatre; both wrote music for plays and eventually found the courage to step forward and take the stage themselves. [read more]