Teleman at EPIC Studios - Review
Fresh from the release of their third album, London-based Teleman played to a packed out Epic Studios on Sunday 30th September 2018.
The night is opened by C.A.R, playing in her words, “off-kilter electronic off-pop”. Her performance is scattered with nods to the musical stylings of Christine and the Queens, complete with patches of French language, and Ladytron. C.A.R’s dark and brooding beats do not encapsulate the crowd but contribute to a growing anticipation for the headline act. The uneasy atmosphere created by C.A.R’s performance is matched by Teleman’s selection of cinematic and eerie pre-set music – an unusual juxtaposition of the band’s cheery sound.
The doom and gloom of a Sunday night has not phased the crowd at all, with Teleman being greeted with warm cheers. The band open with the infectious groove of ‘Strange Combinations’, instantly asserting the fun and playful atmosphere that characterises their live performance. The band continue with a welcome mix of material from their three albums.
For those not familiar with Teleman, the band formed out of the ashes of the well-known noughties indie band, Pete and the Pirates, and composes of three of their members, with the addition of drummer, Hiro Amamiya. Their style is comparable to that of Hot Chip or Future Islands, with critics pointing to more traditional influences such as the Beach Boys and the Velvet Underground. The band do not, however, wear their influences on their sleeve and do maintain a relatively original sound. Their style is transferred well into the sphere of live performance, its quirks accentuated with the band’s seemingly measured and comedic on-stage persona.
As a newcomer to Epic Studios I was unsure about what to expect, especially from a venue that is ordinarily used as a TV studio. The sound at this venue is, however, one of the most balanced and clean I’ve heard for a while. A medium size venue, I am struck by the unusual shape of both the stage and the room, with Teleman performing on a long stage, on which they appear only to occupy the very central space. The room is also an unusual stretched rectangular shape – it is apparent that this is not primarily a music venue. Nevertheless, this is not a criticism and I would recommend paying a visit to this venue if you have not already.
Over the course of the evening the crowd become increasingly lively, reacting most positively to the material of their first and second albums; particularly songs such as ‘Dusseldorf’, ‘Fall In Time’ and ‘Cristina’. It becomes clear that they are well-acquainted with Teleman’s catalogue.
Although Teleman’s new album, Family of Aliens, does possess some standout tracks, notably the album’s singles, ‘Song For A Seagull’, ‘Submarine Life’ and ‘Cactus’, and is a thoroughly listenable album, it is somewhat inconsistent. This did show in their live performance, with some of the tracks from their album not prompting the same vigour and excitement from the crowd as their earlier tracks. That said, even during the show’s lulls, Teleman prove an entertaining and energetic live band. This provides for a relative consistency throughout their show, although it would be untrue to suggest that the crowd are captivated for the whole of Teleman’s full hour long (or so) set.
By the end of the show, the band are fully in control of the crowd and are very quickly summoned back to the stage for an encore. Their regular choice of ‘Cristina’ and ‘Not In Control’ makes for a memorable end to an enjoyable show – a perfect pick-me-up for a cold, autumnal Sunday night.