>Today’s New Band – Chinatown

ANBAD couldn’t exist without the help of YOU, the delightful, handsome and intelligent reader. And, if you’ve never done it, go crazy: join in and let me know of a great band that will enrichen all our lives (or, failing that, just send me a band with a ridiculous name. That usually does the trick).

Some of the emails are from bands themselves but are serpentine in their pretence that actually it’s a fan of the band that’s emailing and not the drummer’s attempts to drum up publicity for a change.

The difference between these emails and those from an actual fan is that the real fans are always, always derangedly crazy in their bare-faced love of the band in question, and feature! a lot!!! of exclamation!! marks!, resisting any attempts of restraint.

Anyway: I got a lovely email from a lovely man – Julian Fargo, whose sleepy solo songs made him new band o’ the day back in January. He is in another band, Chinatown, and wondered, in unutterably polite tones, whether they might be suitable. The deal was sealed when he said he hoped they ‘would have an important place in the French music scene, between Johnny Hallyday and Justice.’ Perfect.

Chinatown, inevitably, sound like neither, which is something of a shame and a relief. But you will be whistling along to the snappy melody of songs like Apprendre a Danser (Vague schoolboy French translation: Learn to Dance), which is more important.

Du Jazz Avec L’Apocalypse is a tempting enough title in itself; and the twisting and bristling chorus is almost a happy side-effect. It drives and dives directly to your heart. (It’s strange, but singing in French seems to instill a certain Gallic cockiness in any song. I wonder if, to foreign ears, English-language songs have a specific ‘feel?)

Chinatown’s songs are brighter, more free and more twinkly than a handful of stolen diamonds. You’ll realise this straight away – their swinging choruses will grab your hand and force you to dance with them, like a pestering uncle at a family wedding. Good stuff. Listen here!

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