Live Review: Teleman with C.A.R. at Bristol Thekla – 27th September 2018

By on Monday, 8th October 2018 at 2:00 pm
 

It took nearly a decade, but I finally made it to arguably the most unusual venue in the UK. It’s not a 19th century Scottish church turned venue, that’s Oran Mor in Glasgow, or a treatment centre for the hearing impaired turned venue, that’s Manchester’s Deaf Institute. No, last Thursday night, I found myself on a decommissioned cargo ship moored in Bristol Harbour to see one of my favourite live bands. The show at Thekla marked the start of a 2-and-a-half week UK tour in support of their latest album ‘Family of Aliens’, released in early September. (Read my review of the album through here.) In a previous interview with Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music, Teleman mentioned Bristol was always a good place to gig. The city didn’t disappoint them, being the first date on the tour to sell out.

C.A.R. Bristol 1

Chloé Raunet is the one-woman show C.A.R. She’s a French-Canadian based in London and a singer and synth and keyboard player. While she was likely unknown to the majority of the crowd – I know I didn’t know anything about her – her mix of driving beats and oft yelping voice was just the right amount of subversiveness in sound just above the headliners’ own. Her 2014 debut ‘My Friend’ was described by Dummy magazine as “an electro pop album that’s quite self-consciously weird.” Her follow-up, this year’s ‘Pinned’, stars oddly catchy tunes like ‘Growing Pains’ and the live standout of her set ‘This City’, rich with metallic clanks and her disaffected vocals. Keen on grabbing a free remix of ‘This City’ done by Teleman drummer Hiro? Right through here.

Teleman Bristol 2

As one might expect, the set list for Teleman’s inaugural night for the ‘Family of Aliens’ tour was heavy on tunes from the new LP. Of the three singles that previewed the official release of the album, early calls for ‘Song for a Seagull’ from the audience proved it’s clearly the fan favourite. Bemused but seemingly prepared for this response, frontman Thomas Sanders was quick to quip that we’d get it soon enough. When the moment finally arrived in the set, time seemed to pause: the song has become quite personal to me, and not just because I’m named early on in its promo video. I have been on both sides, having been the untouchable seagull and having been in love with one. There are equal parts of wonderment and bewilderment when you fall in love with someone you can’t fully connect with on an emotional level. I suppose you could argue the song sounds way too happy, but I look at it as an acknowledgement of the essence of love: it’s beguiling and frustrating but ultimately wonderful.

Teleman Bristol 1

The delightful synth bounce in their tunes comes across even better in a live setting. A song like ‘Fun Destruction’ – an examination on the struggle between having a fun, messy night out and then confronting your hungover self in the morning – is ideal for a gig, the ordered and anarchic bits of the song at odds but in a way that works flawlessly. Sanders admitted anxiously before ‘Twisted Heart’ that we were the first people to ever hear it live. While it’s definitely chaotic, it was all too easy and wonderfully so to give in to the chaos and revelry of the night that continued into now perennial live favourite ‘Dusseldorf’. Older beloved tracks ‘Tangerine’, ‘Cristina’ and one-off Speedy Wunderground single ‘Strange Combination’ joined the party, too. When the band finally had to sadly say goodbye, they ended with ‘Not in Control’, its motorik beat and droney nature acting as perfect sendoff. Until next time, Teleman, thank you.

Teleman Bristol 5


After the cut: Teleman’s set list from the night.

Teleman Set List:
Cactus
Tangerine
Fun Distraction
Family of Aliens
Repeater
Submarine Life
Strange Combination
Fall in Time
Song for a Seagull
Steam Train Girl
Twisted Heart
Dusseldorf
//
Cristina
Not in Control

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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