Psapp at the Queen Elizabeth Hall
Psapp are an electronic pop duo (formed of Galia and Carim) that have gained considerable traction in recent years for their exclusive ability to explore and use the sounds that surround them. These sounds will echo around the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where a wholesome crowd awaits a “very exciting” concert (as Galia consistently repeats in flourishes), selectively organised by David Byrne for his Meltdown festival – a seductive milieu of broad-minded artists.
After a very loud warm-up from Stealing Sheep, with a delirious video installation far more enticing than the music itself, Psapp begin their set in full funk with a plethora of home electronics in Needle and Thread, followed by Galia’s well-attuned vocals in Monster Song, mixing the somewhat darker subject matter with their tasteful pop and elevating edge. In fact, Galia has a certain affliction with death, telling the entire audience a story of how she breastfed a poor mouse to death in the Lake District (she was only trying to heal it). Such stories and random “awkward embraces” (a title projected on a large PowerPoint slide for all to see) seem to capture the alternative yet warm-hearted spirit of this duo. You can also expect the odd and remarkably straight-laced one-liner: “I can’t explain it, I’m not going to” Galia dictates in response to a picture of two queer-looking octopus cartoons. This is entertainment.
The audience is as eclectic in style, shape and retort as Psapp’s very own “toytronica” – their pioneering brand of music. A child shouts out “I have a cat”, to which Galia counters “I don’t know that child”, and everyone laughs. Over 400 Psapp-crafted cat toys have been handed out to the audience, each tagged with their very own cat-name. “Cat Name Bingo” ensues and some of the prizes include Psapp’s very own devices, including a trumpet that “sounds like a chicken”. This is all very exciting, but the show has enough frolicking to become dangerously close to mocking itself and its own melodious integrity.
Psapp end the night with a cover of Everybody Wants to be a Cat from The Aristocats – a no less childish piece than all their previous endeavours. A wonderful round of applause and a long queue outside for the merchandise stand suggest that Psapp are definitely something new, even though their recordings offer far more “earsome” pleasure than a live set.
Photos: Kim Mihaljevic
For further information about Psapp and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Wet Salt here: