Q & A with L’Amour Des Rêves. ‘Get a room…but please can you leave the door open?’

Sheffield duo L’Amour Des Rêves are the “Love Is…” cartoons made flesh, playing Paradox Pop, a copy of a copy of a retro-futurist classic. Drummer/singer Jessie Love is a tropicalia glamourpuss with a Bardot up-do and a vintage reporter’s mic, streamlined for thrusting in the pursuit of truth. Guitarist/singer Tommy Love’s cherub face is framed by ‘The Hair’, a blonde bowlcut so iconic even Rotherham chavs treat him like a star.

They are in love, and their songs form an Escher staircase, ascending and descending the arpeggios of devotion, from the in-out of the hokey-cokey to the give & take of compromise.

They bring out the voyeur in their audience, as if we’ve stepped into the wrong room at a party. It’s charming but not forced and sweet but not saccharine.

After their 3rd ever gig, supporting NME’s ones-to-watch Temples in Sheffield this December, I said to Jessie: “You make me feel like, ‘Get a room…but please can you leave the door open so I can see?’…”

Here’s everything you need to know about your new favourite band of 2013:

1. Who would play you in a movie of your life?

“Your skin can only get more enjoyable in a few decades if you live like Bette Davis!”

Tommy: I’m not what you’d call a film buff: but if you are pushing for an answer I’d say David Hemmings. I think his trajectory would paint a nice picture of the band.

Jessie: Bette Davis- please- fasten your seat belts you’re in for a bumpy night- your skin can only get more enjoyable in a few decades if you live like her. I was introduced to Bette as a teenager by two older friends who felt I needed an education in “Lesbian icons.” Why? I still don’t know, but Bette was up there, along with Jennifer Beals (but I have never taken to her as much)

2. What do you want for Christmas?

Tommy: I’d love for us to do something musical for Christmas: like audition for a record label on Christmas Day or something like that.

Jessie: I’d like a small yappy dog

3. What’s in your pockets?

Tommy: A 20 pence piece, which is currently next year’s recording budget.

Jessie: Red lipstick, and I thought I had twenty pence?

4. Do your interests/work influence your music?

“If everyone got paid – music would be good again.”

Tommy: You only get anywhere by talking to people from other places, reading books and listening to lots of records. All musicians are researchers really: if they aren’t then they aren’t doing their jobs properly. I’m really into 60s beat groups like The Searchers, The Rockin’ Berries and The Honeycombs and a lot of obscure beat music which naturally tends to get overlooked by some music journalists.

At the minute I’m collecting singles from the old Embassy label which used to stock Woolworths [RIP] with covers of hit songs in the 60s for people too poor to be paying for the ‘original’ hits – Sheffield unsurprisingly is flooded with them. I’ve heard that vinyl purists used to throw these records in the bin saying they weren’t “real” records but I quite like the Embassy modus operandi.

They would find out which song was going to be big and record it in a studio in three hours, which is a bit how we work really. They had good players on there books and it had to be right because the record needed to it be in the shops the next day. Some songs sounded awful in a good way and other records surpass the original – I just like that sense of urgency in these records and the way in which musicians weren’t always the centre of attention – they had cool names though like ‘Bud Ashton’ or ‘Don Duke’ – it was all about the song and making money really. They had the basics right and a kitsch quality we are trying to get down onto record – no fancy pedals or visuals to hide behind. In a way they were more Lo-fi than bands are today. It was a really democratic time for music as almost everyone worth their salt got their chance to record – if you were really good you’d get a record deal – unlike now where we’ve got to wade through a lot of crap to get to the good stuff. Above all everyone got paid.

If everyone got paid – music would be good again.

Jessie: Honestly? No… I like to think I’m good in my role and I’m very passionate about it- but it isn’t typically creative…I lean towards writing the more ballad-like songs we play.

5. How did you meet?

“My favourite Beatle is George”

Tommy: I can’t possibly say – it’s a secret.

Jessie: Well, one of the first things I said to him was that my favourite Beatle is George and Tommy liked it- I was wearing my great grandmother’s silk gown, unusually!

6. Who is/what is your favourite:

a. Philosopher

Tommy: Theodor Adorno.

Jessie: Kahlil Gibran (author of The Prophet)- genuinely

b. Producer:

Tommy: Joe Meek

Jessie: Meek/Spector

c. Band/Singer:

Tommy: Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich and Buddy Holly.

Jessie: Pop: Girls featuring on Meek/Spector

7. It seems very important for you to have exactly the right kit from the right period- what have you got & why?

“We’ve got the same drum kit as The Quarrymen used…”

Tommy: We use a lot of old equipment because it’s well made, it sounds better and it’s cheaper than buying poorly assembled equipment brand new. It’s only stuff that a 60s club band would have used. It’s nothing flash or remarkable really. Although we’ve got the same drum kit as what The Quarrymen used.

Jessie: I’d describe our set us as simple and clean- like most of our songs- there’s not so much in it if the song is solid in my humble opinion

8. What book(s) are you reading at the moment?

Tommy: I’m reading a book about analogue recording. Again it’s a secret.

Jessie: Haruki Murakami’s Wind up Bird Chronicles- not quite magical realism but that’s the nearest to a favourite genre.

9. Tell me the story behind your name…

“Something that made no sense, was difficult to spell and hard to pronounce…”

Tommy: There is no story really I just wanted a name which didn’t mean anything and got people thinking again. I wanted something that made no sense, was difficult to spell and hard to pronounce. I think I’ve won on all three counts. Jess will tell you what it means if you ask her kindly.

Jessie: It comes from a very poor translation of “the unbelievable love”- I also will leave it there…

10. What are your top albums/songs of the year?

Tommy: We’ve been really lucky because we’ve only played 3 shows and played with bands we are really passionate about:

• Temple Songs,

• The Bell Peppers,

• and Temples.

Temple Songs have made my favourite two albums this year ’15 Bygones’ (Duck Tapes) and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band – Revisited’ (Twisted Tapes) and we’ve got those on the tape deck all the time. I’d say our favourite EP of the year is

The Bell Peppers ‘Saved by The Bell Peppers’ (Captured Cats).
My favourite singles would be ‘Shelter Song’ by Temples (Heavenly) and more recently ‘Kiss Me (it’s Christmas)’ by PINS (Haus of Pins).

Jessie: I love the Bell Peppers- “Moonlight heartache” especially and Unmade Bed’s “Go the Whole Way”- I’m not as good with new music and prefer digging away at bands of the past.

11. Any NY resolutions yet?


Tommy: My new years resolution would be to go to Manchester more often. It’s all about #snakespass

Jessie: Use the word “Heinous” more often while continuing to be largely non-offensive
Exhaust every venue in Sheffield including the Crucible.

words Vienna Famous


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