A beginner’s guide to… Her, Jazz Cafe

The French band stormed the famous Parkway venue last night. Here’s why they matter

Who: French soul-electronica-rock band Her, from Rennes, originally comprised two members, Simon Carpentier and Victor Solf, who met at the age of 16. The name was chosen to “represent the cause of women and feminism.” Carpentier tragically died of cancer aged 27 last summer, leaving an album co-written with frontman Solf, which has just been released on Island Records.

Where: Solf and his extensive band of musicians played a sell-out show at the Jazz Cafe last night. And we thought the classily revived venue suited their rather suave tunes perfectly.

Solf and Carpentier, who died last summer. Photo: PR

The Look: Preacher-man meets early 1990s Hue & Cry. And then some. It was hard not to envy Solf’s chiselled, clean-shaven looks, crisp white buttoned-up shirt and three-piece suit.

Performance style: Mesmerizing: air-punching, finger-clicking and dance moves aplenty, coupled with heartfelt lyrics, inevitably sad moments and a charismatic backing band.

Highlights: A roof-raising, epic, ten minute version of signature choon Five Minutes, surely their Wrote For Luck, and one of the best ever paeans to procrastination (or is it hedonism?), with the whole audience barking out the yearning chorus. Meanwhile, outstanding album opener We Choose sounded defiant and determined, while the chanty Blossom Roses, and the very catchy, funk-driven Swim and Neighbourhood, were popular with the band’s more inebriated fans. Well, it was 10pm on a Tuesday night, after all.

Any missteps? A slightly excruciating version of Rocket Man by Elton John: no offence to Solf and co’s note-perfect rendition, of course, but it provoked some more tipsy fans to start gesticulating and screeching; for a moment we were all at a wedding party.

Notes: The band play the All Points East festival in Victoria Park at the end of May. We advise you take a look.

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Follow Her @thebandher on social media. The self-titled debut album is out now.

Main image: Festival des Vieilles Charrues 2016 – Commons/ Wikipedia

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