posted on October 17, 2007 12:35
We saw Quebec indie-rockers Malajube at La Maroquinerie in Paris last night. Despite a sluggish start (with - our bad luck - a relatively listless version of 'Montréal -40°C', our favourite song of theirs) they soon picked up steam. Literally - the place was roasting and clouds of mist were rising from the overheating crowd.
No one suffered more from the heat than lead singer Julien Mineau. For some reason he had decided to wear a platinum-white moptop wig that hung sheepdog-stylee down to his upper lip, completely covering his eyes and nose.
He was obviously hot under there - two songs in and already the poor guy was leaking buckets of sweat (and probably nostalgic for the minus forty degrees of home). Perspiration was pouring off him, running down the front of his guitar and spraying the front row teenage girls whenever he made a sharp movement. We hadn't seen such hot sweatiness since that time in Pigalle when we [Snip! - CLUAS Legal Department]
Despite Mineau's socially embarrassing discharges, his band played a storming set made up mostly of cracking tunes from their 2006 album 'Trompe L'Oeil'. We dug the music, but even your blogger (with his fluent French) had problems comprehending the band's Quebec accents - and they didn't help matters by deliberately exaggerating or putting on fake French accents. The Quebec accent is a source of ridicule in France - only today someone explained to us why punters last night were playfully heckling Malajube with shouts of 'Skiddooo!'
La Maroquinerie (the name signifies the building's former life as a leather goods factory; the 'maroc' comes from Morocco, traditional land of leather production) is a smashing little venue - the gig space is a cavernous cellar, and up on ground level there's a nice, spacious bar and restaurant. Already this year we've been there to see excellent shows by Peter Bjorn and John, The Decemberists and Simple Kid (who gave a masterclass in winning around an audience). It's in the 20th arrondissement, a bohemian district of Paris that's full of fine little bars, restaurants and concert venues (our beloved Flèche d'Or is there too).
As for Malajube, they now have a healthy following in France. As well as playing Paris, they also visited Rouen, the city where Joan of Arc also suffered badly from the heat. Warding off the flames, here's Malajube treating local website Domino TV to an acoustic version of 'Montréal -40°C'. That's 'mon-ray-AL MWAN kar-ONT' to you: