Julie Budet is riveting. After her first few English words, spoken with a delightfully distorted accent, one can quickly hear she’s French. Likely few members of the audience understood her lyrics, yet she draws everyone in with a few on-stage antics and a massive dose of enthusiasm. Always moving, if she wasn’t singing, she was dancing, and usually she managed a combination of the two. Not one to choreograph a pop princess routine, Julie dances like any early morning denizen of a dance club would: with public disregard and rapid foot movement.
Yelle, a group consisting of Julie, GrandMarnier (Jean-Francois Perrier) and the new arrival Tepr (Tanguy Destable), aptly titled their second album the Safari Disco Club. Makes me imagine a wild, brightly colored, terribly loud and packed party in a space far too small to accommodate the mass of bodies squeezed in. Throw into that mix a sequined animal dress, lights, lights and more lights, plus a few costume changes and you have the show I went to Saturdaynight.
Last time I saw Yelle, at a roller rink bar in Echo Park a few years ago, the scene was far more of a packed, crazy club feel than Saturday at the Mezzanine. Before it was GrandMarnier as DJ holding the beat while Julie commanded the stage, and sometimes flowed through the audience, but their performance has evolved into a singer and her band. Either way, Yelle sits high up in my top five favorite live-bands list.
-Written and photographed by Julie Logan