London outfit The Irrepressibles headline Village Underground on 26 March, bringing their unique take on orchestral pop with an unabashed message of universal love to Shoreditch.
Ignoring for a moment the distressing ‘art-pop collective’ label the London group have hung around their own necks, The Irrepressibles play heartfelt electronic rock with its eyes to the heavens, as best summed up on 2012’s majestic album Nude. For a reference point, think Dog Man Star-era Suede meets Patrick Duff’s criminally underrated band Strangelove, simultaneously gloomy and life-affirming.
Nude was hailed as a important record in the fight against prejudice, with its focus on gay rights and accompanying videos likely to make Russians nervous – literally, as at an open free concert in Gorky Park, Moscow last year in front of 5,000 people. Authorities attempted to stop the broadcast of videos from the Nude selection, such as this for the song ‘Arrow’. WARNING: there are naked male nipples and other serious threats to society in this video.
The Village Underground show and tour around the UK are to promote a rebirth for the Nude album, in the form of a trilogy of new EPs containing ‘different sonic worlds’. Nude:Landscapes is a stripped-down, string-laden selection, while Nude:Viscera introduces elements of grunge and new wave into a darker, more foreboding environment. The third EP, Nude:Forbidden, aims for a more uplifting electronic sound. All three EPs will be released on 24 March.
The Irrepressibles continue to attract controversy despite there being nothing controversial about their act or actions – their recent pro-gay love video made up from submissions from all over the world, called ‘Two Men In Love’, resulted in a bizarre over-18 censorship on Youtube despite the lack of any sexual content, or indeed anything more provocative than men kissing. You can watch the video here.
Irrepressibles frontman Jamie McDermott admits the video was something of a political statement, but told Polari magazine “I made this video because there are kids out there who kill themselves for being gay and I wanted to make something that would communicate directly to those kids and tell them ‘it’s ok to love’.”
And if that’s not a message we should hear more of in these confusing times, we don’t know what is. Tickets are available here for the Village Underground show, which is sure to be moving and thought-provoking in equal measure.
Image courtesy of The Irrepressibles.