While I was at the Breton after-party, a guy approached me and asked how I liked the show. I said they were brilliant and asked what he thought in return. He said that they were good, but not as good as they were on the record. This is a comment that I keep hearing from fans and honestly, finding it a bit ignorant. Surely, it is tricky business for electro-based bands to tailor their sound for the stage and unless they are out mostly playing pre-recorded bits from a laptop, they will sound different. And they should. Otherwise, what’s the point of going to a live show? There are times like the recent Hot Chip gig, where the drums did not live up to the beats, the synths got lost in the sound mud and the vocals came out weaker without the fancy effects. This was certainly not the case with Breton, who have managed to find the perfect balance between their love affair with their laptops and their instruments.
I had heard from friends before that Breton was amazing live and I can confirm that they were in top form at Scala, although possibly a bit tired. Roman Rappak has this magnetic presence onstage that claims your eyes and ears, and the rest of the band do not fall behind. Instruments sometimes change hands and you feel to the bone that these guys are really, really good musicians. Since having this art-house background (and unlike many other mid-sized bands who pass the visuals at Scala), the videos are a big part of their show, adding up to their atmospheric sound and completing the whole package. The setlist was also smartly put together, taking off with (what I later learned to be) 15X, going on with Pacemaker and Edward the Confessor and not quite slowing down from there.
On the other hand, for the sake of not losing momentum, they left out some slower tracks like 2 years, one of my favorites on the album. Secondly, Roman was too self-depreciating, thanking the crowd a zillion times for being there and all. I understand that he was having a great time and they are like a community with their fans but we are not doing him a favor. He is. To us. Lastly, I really don’t like it when drummers miss a beat. Seriously.
All in all, it was a great night. I can safely say that Breton is a very impressive live act, very passionate with a lot of character and certainly ready for the bigger stages.
Trivia: There were quite a lot of French people at Scala.