GCSE French, gunshots and Duran Duran may seem unorthodox bedfellows when it comes to electro-pop, but not for Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, who pack all three and more into their infectious racket.
“It started in a French lesson,” begins the moustachioed keyboardist Joe. Ah, now that name is starting to make a bit more sense. “I’d start banging out a beat and Caan would drop a bassline and our guitarist Charles would come up with these ridiculously funny lyrics, we just needed a name for it.” Luckily for the Camden-based trio, their teacher Monsieur Jones provided all the inspiration they needed. “He used to ask these questions, and we just went with what he was saying at the time, it was a bit of a joke really.”
Having met and formed in Camden, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool are the latest in a line of bands to come out of North London’s music mecca, but it is the area’s darker side, rather than its musical tapestry that informs their music most. “I love it, but Camden’s pretty shit,” offers Joe before Caan interrupts, “Being surrounded by all these crack heads and gunshots does inspire you to get in the studio and write, so I suppose Camden does influence our music!”
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel
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The band’s riotous brand of electro-pop nods to ’80s legends the Pet Shop Boys and Duran Duran, yet they refuse to be shoved under the ’80s revival umbrella. “I’ve never listened to much of that stuff, so it is annoying, but we’re just making pop music,” affirms Caan. “It’s just powerful chords and strong melodies that you can’t fucking argue with,” adds Joe.
And if debut single ‘Dance The Way I Feel’ is anything to go by, then the trio are on to something special. “It came about as a bit of a piss-take,” laughs Charles, “We played around with an acoustic song and made a version that we could play live.”
Playing live is something the band enjoys, whether in one of Glastonbury’s dance tents or a sweaty Camden pub. “We did a gig at a pub rammed full of people recently, it was a massive sing-along with people dancing on tables,” Joe says. “Even Joe’s girlfriend’s mum was on the table,” Charles adds.
And what of their Glastonbury debut? “It was amazing, I was a Glasto virgin,” says Charles, as Caan pipes up, “I was conceived in a barn at Glastonbury!” “And it’s only gonna get better next year,” Joe concludes, and you can’t help but agree with him.
Words By Ben Homewood
Where: Camden, North London.
What: Shiny electro pop
Unique Fact: Vocalist Caan was once one of London’s youngest grime MCs aged twelve.
Get 3 songs: ‘Dance The Way I Feel’, ‘The Key’, ‘Jackson’s Last Stand’