Air boredomAIR with SEBASTIEN TELLIER at Kool Haus, July 27. Tickets: 22. Attendance: 2,000. Rating: NN
put aside the ridiculous nameand the Kool Haus actually might turn out to be a decent venue.Admittedly, there's only so much you can do with a barn, but by removing the pillars and curving the walls, the venue formerly known as the Warehouse's notorious sound problems seem to be cured. The only pressing question is, what's holding up the ceiling now?
Unfortunately, French freak Sebastien Tellier did not test out the Haus's new acoustics. Hunched over an acoustic guitar and with a woman swaying mysteriously in front of a theremin, Tellier recast the soothing analog tinkling of his L'Incroyable Vérité disc as a stripped-down folk set. Bad idea.
Barking like a dog was a nice touch but only seemed to drive the crowd deeper into the corners. Even given his poor reception, though, the scruffy Tellier chose to meet the crowd at the bar post-set, in a velvet suit no less.
Air were more engaging, but only slightly. It takes a brave man to answer accusations that he's gone prog by turning up in a collared cape. Maybe J-B Dunckel and Nicolas Godin were joking by pushing every self-indulgent button on their banks of keyboards, but the punchline didn't translate.
Air make gorgeous records but need to learn that if you're not going to go on the road with a choir, string section and visual diversions, there's no shame in not touring. While the renditions of songs from Air's 10,000 Hz Legend disc sounded great, the 90-minute set was interminably boring to watch, with only full-throttle versions of People In The City and Don't Be Light and a no-wave stab at Sexy Boy standing out.
Look beyond the light show and it's no surprise the Haus was filled with disappointed fans looking like they'd been had.