Say Psych: Live Review: Levitation France Day One 20.09.2019

Levitation France is back for its 7th edition and the venue is Théâtre Le Quai, located in a stunning location on the banks of the river Maine, in the heart of Angers. The venue is a public art space and certainly looks the part without the added spectacle of the lightshow.

The first band on the radar are LA’s The Warlocks, who were a key band in the 2000s neo-psych movement and have remained a prominent feature on the scene. This afternoon’s performance comes as the penultimate on the European tour and fans are treated to a double drum bombardment, with the addition of Bob Mustacio alongside staple Jason Anchondo. There set contains an array of tracks which span their releases including fan favourites ‘Shake the Dope Out’ from 2002 LP Phoenix, ‘Caveman Rock’ which is a riotous live track and a rare outing for ‘Baby Blue’ from the Phoenix EP. The set is executed with their usual panache and fans eagerly devour their performance, relishing in the intensity of the tracks which take on a new life when performed live.

Next up are Venetians New Candys, who despite forming in 2008 have really gained momentum in the last few years. The effect is a finely polished outfit that know how to impress. They attract attention wherever they go and today is no exception, with the incredibly dark room filling quickly. Highlights include ‘Dark Love’ from 2015’s New Candys as Medicine is always a welcome addition to the set and it sets bodies moving, ‘Blackbeat’ from 2012’s Stars Reach the Abyss is another strong track with its infectious beat and there are also a smattering of new songs which offer a tantalising glimpse of what is to come from a band who are permanently impressive. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, I’m not the only one who’s impressed.

New Candys – photo by author

Frustration have become an almost cult name on the Born Bad Records’ roster and have been putting released out since 2006. The Parisian post-punk five piece are no new comers to the scene and their appearance here today has caused quite a stir in the French underground. Described as a fusion between Warsaw, Wire and The Fall (no small claim!) they impress with sounds such as ‘Excess’ from 2016’s Empires of Shame LP which sees a full crowd singalong ensue. Having not been aware of them before and seen the reaction of the crowd, they are definitely one into whose archives I will delve further.

Frustration – photo by author

Fresh on the back of the release of their third album Serf’s Up, Fat White Family are a very welcome headliner on tonight’s billing. They come with much hype, gossip and trepidation, but despite all that they really know how to put on a show. There are a strong selection of tracks from the new record; ‘Bobby’s Boyfriend’, ‘Feet’, ‘Tastes Good With The Money’ and ‘I Believe in Something Better’ which are all delivered with their usual style as well as favourites ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’ from 2016’s Songs for Our Mothers and ‘Touch the Leather’ from 2013’s Champagne Holocaust. Despite being marked down as somewhat of a joke band due to past escapades, the quality of the musicianship on display here cannot be disputed; quite frankly, they were amazing.

Fat White Family – photo by author

Day one comes to a close. Today has been brilliant, with excellent organisation in a great venue and tomorrow holds lots of promise…

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