New London music – A Terrible Splendour
With the recent opening of Proud Cabaret and burlesque nights popping up all over town, theatrical music has never had it so good. And here comes another example, in the form of A Terrible Splendour, aka London pair MM Lyle and ML Block. Making their debut perfomance at The Lexington this weekend, they offer a slow, synthy pop, doused in glamour and dank with weirdness. There are no glorious choruses here; instead you have vocals sung in almost a rather gay drawl, lots of filthy fun, and the general sensation of being among folk with a fetish for Spandex.
They confess to being inspired by one Gottfried von Cramm, a controversial 1930s/40s tennis player and soldier, and have written their songs in his honour, and with a nod to the dash of that period’s music. They’ll also perform appropriately, it seems: “From the beginning it became apparent that these were songs would lend themselves to a strong performance element. We are imagining costumes, cake, blood, possibly murder, but most definitely a sense of drama, so in that sense returning to the idea of a stage show.”
Stage show or not, ATS lack the catchy rhythms of, say, fellow oddballs The xx. They do boast fervent electro notes that are crying out for a remix or four, though, plus this near guarantee that, live, they’ll be anything but dull. And no-one likes dull right now.
Sat 21 November – The Lexington (details here)