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LISTEN: The Limiñanas remixed by Laurent Garnier
Jeremy Allen , February 1st, 2018 15:53

A double treat, dear reader, for lovers of The Liminañas and their psych-rock-yé-yé grooves: a live report of their in-store gig at Rough Trade last week PLUS a first-listen of Laurent Garnier’s ace ‘Dimanche’ remix

Watching a gig in a shop is a peculiar charade. First there’s the performance, then there’s the queueing up for signatures and the hope of a few bon mots - subject to the purchase of the band’s new record of course. It’s why we’re here really, and the artist must quickly change heads, from dishevelled rocknroller into diligent beardy author, as we watch the whole process of capitalist digestion from the eating to the end product within the space of an hour.

Some bands make you forget you’re here to buy records though, and the Limiñanas are one of those bands. This is the connubial French psyche outfit’s only UK date, and as such, it feels like a treat. Lionel and Marie Limiñana have built up quite a cult following from their home in Perpignan, enlisting guest appearances from actor Emmanuelle Seigner and bass legend Peter Hook along the way, with the new album Shadow People produced by their friend and fellow traveller Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. It’s an unlikely success story in many ways: the Limiñanas quit their day jobs in their thirties to pursue their first love of music; they invite others to sing their freewheeling chansons live; they live far from the metropolis in a mountainous region a stroll from the Spanish border...

And yet there’s something so life-affirming and vital about the music, making them an irresistible force. After an instrumental opener simply called ‘Ouverture’, they play the title track from their previous album Malamore, a locomotive with vintage pop sensibilities driven by Marie’s heavy bass tom thumping. They revive ‘Funeral Baby’ from 2009 from a time when Lionel didn’t have such a lustrous beard, though it could just have easily have been written around the time of following track ‘Dimanche’ (a 2018 number featuring a spoken word from Bertrand Berlin on the album).

Their music is retro but it’s not anachronistic. They bring the Velvet Underground and yé-yé together, and shoegaze and Nuggets box sets, and the reason it all works so well is that they lovingly imbue their influences into their gloriously catchy songs rather than simply copy them. They mine the past but they’re not about to forbid you from snapping them on stage and uploading the picture to Instagram if you feel like it.

Perhaps the best thing of all about the Limiñanas is their gift for simplicity, with tracks like ‘Istanbul Is Sleepy’ which chugs along in an overdriven motorik fashion using just two chords which you could quite honestly get lost in it for eternity, or a good 10 minutes anyway. That song comes from their fifth studio album Shadow People, which is available from all good record shops.