Cars on Rooftops at the New Cross Inn
This charming folk-pop quartet deserved a bigger crowd than they got on a damp Thursday evening in New Cross Gate. Nonetheless, they delivered on every level. They wove some gorgeous vocal harmonies into energetic and precise melodies that ranged from the pastoral to the passionate. While two of their love songs teetered dangerously on the edge of being borderline indistinct, their impassioned vocal work (which I will keep mentioning) thankfully managed to keep interest.
Cars on Rooftops’ set was a great balance of intimacy and foot-tapping joy. A particular favourite of the night was Dry Spell, a song described as being “for farmers”, which dipped slightly into bluegrass but remained defiantly European. They finished with the superb Please Be Kind which wrapped up the evening with a neat little acoustic bow.
Surprisingly, the French quintet’s initial works were prog rock, making this their first purely “Paris folk” work. All members play with a confidence and coordination that would be expected from Mumford and Sons, when they still made good music, and there is an elegance to their work that translates extremely well live.
Bar Zalel, vocalist and lead guitarist as well as writer of all of their songs, sang his heart out alongside an almost effortless harmony from the rest of the members. Andrew Mazingue played a mean upright bass, and Louise Thiolon and Pierre Ayral kept the tempo clean and foot-tappingly good by providing their own well-matched vocals. In a short performance with a small crowd, Cars on Rooftops certainly displayed a majestic sound that many should listen out for.
For further information about Cars on Rooftops and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Dry Spells here: