Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hey Hey My My ... If You Like Country Wink Your Eye?

Hype is something that I am still not really how I feel about, especially as not being in agreement can often distance you from your friends and peer groups. Hey Hey My My is a Parisian group that I have been hearing about for ages; who everyone loves; who just played a sold out gig; and from what I had heard recorded I can't fully understand why. So I trotted off to La Maroquinerie to see what all the 'hype' was about.

Their name is stolen from a Neil Young song called, 'Hey, hey, my, my, rock 'n' roll will never die' (or maybe it's a lyric). The point is that clearly these guys are big Neil Young fans, enough to have his words represent their unique musical sound. I don't really like Neil Young. It may be unpatriotic of me to say so and perhaps I have sealed my fate as an ex-pat but I find his voice grating and mildly irritating. What I realised tonight is that when folk songs are sped up they sound very country infused, like country songs almost. This, personally, is not a mix that sits well in the old belly. There are exceptions, the Shins, for instance, have a 'country' feel during some songs and I DO love the Shins (who doesn't?).

Hey Hey My My, broken down, is about 40% rock, 35% pop and 25% lively folk, generally speaking. This ratio did oscillate between proportions and when the rock/pop content figured more heavily, well, I actually thought it was pretty good. There was kind of a Strokes-y feel to it, but not in a copying, can't-think-of-anything-original-to-do-ourselves kind of way. I would say maybe 5 songs I really liked. Period. It was also during these songs that the singer's voice seemed the most natural, at ease and in harmony with what was happening musically around him.

I am happy to report, on a much brighter less cynical note, that the crowd was nuts (not like and English throwing stuff nuts, but yelling and appropriate hand-clapping nuts - ok maybe boisterous is better). The majority of the audience was French, not surprising, but they really were into it from beginning to end without any pretension to look cool or act like everyone else (an annoying French tendency that I have noticed). Happiness spreads happiness, if I can venture so lame.... and I had a great time if not as much for the music as for the jubilant atmosphere.

Which brings me to my last point: Hey Hey My My sont les mecs adorables!!!!!!!! Mec means guy and adorable is like in English but includes even more wonderful qualities, like humorous, interesting, charming, nice, cute, and so on. The singer especially was so at comfortable on stage, cracking jokes like he had been your best friend for years - you just didn't know it yet. The music almost seemed better because it was made by good people.

I did take a video of the show but after attempting to upload it all night I have decided to choose the path of least resistance and post their proper video and what I feel is their best song. I tend to like anything with a harmonica. If I do manage to get my video up then you will all be the first to know.

Hey Hey My My - There's Too Much Space

No comments: