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The Electric Smoke

The Cella

1 May 2007

Music has many different genres and sub cultures that has come and gone and developed through the years. Ever since the music industry found Elvis Presley a white man with a gospel singing background there have been many different mixtures of musical influence.

The Electric Smoke is a two piece act from Brighton that has done something new. When you think there is nothing new to emerge in music something comes along and proves you wrong. Mixing music, cabaret and comedy poetry The Electric Smoke has come across a formula that on paper really should not work, the fact it does is due to great performances from the two artists involved.

Claudine Smoke on the keyboard and B Electric on main vocals deliver an act which is hard to draw your attention away from. The audience respond warmly and you feel you are witnessing something special. B Electric has a voice which is in itself used as a musical instrument to compliment the sporadic electro sounds. The act is performance art and is well choreographed from start to finish in a seamless and very entertaining fashion. Dressed as French beatniks the Electric Smoke glide through a set which you spend a lot of time wondering just were the influence is coming from. At times Im reminded of the Pet Shop Boys but that is doing injustice to the Electric Smokes new style of kookiness.

The set comprises of songs (songs may be too vague a description but hey I cant think of a more appropriate word) entitled Leopold the cat and Toni and a guy. The Electric Smoke use word play and poetry to great effect and the audience absolutely love it from start to finish. The mixture of music, humour and cabaret works so well for this act and the effortless way they glide from one song to another captivated the audience. There is no moment throughout the performance where I felt bored, this is not the kind of act you spend time looking at your watch. I was slightly worried before I came; thinking that I just wouldnt get it, that perhaps this is the kind of thing that thespians and poets revel in with the exclusion of others. I was wrong this performance works so well on many different levels, theres something for everyone. At the end the audience are asked if they want an encore, it felt as though they had just started but sure enough they had been on for a good half hour or so. There were no worries of the crowd turning them down and sadly the set finished. The applause and appreciation from the crowd at the end was warm and very deserving. This was one of the most interesting gigs I have been to for a long time and an act I look forward to catching again sometime. The Electric Smoke is currently Brightons best kept secret, go see them and I assure you with no doubts you will become hooked!

Words: Neil McLennan
Photos: Justin Evans
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