Electric Circus, Edinburgh, 9th February, £12
The story of Balthazar’s formation goes some way towards giving you an idea of what they’re all about. Twin frontmen Maarten Devoldere and Jinte Deprez busked as teenagers on opposite sides of the same square. They didn’t know each other, but became aware that they were in competition, and that they were both rinsing and repeating a three song set. The union came with the realisation that two three song sets would become a six song set, and that two voices opened the potential to harmonise. Having become infinitely more successful buskers as a result of teaming up, they have come a long way since.
The pair quickly acquired further members and, with a fast-expanding list of material, became the indie-folk outfit Balthazar. 2013 will see the release of sophomore album Rats on March 4th. Frustrated with the lack of ‘depth’ in modern pop productions, the band have taken inspiration from Serge Gainsbourg’s work in the sixties whilst hailing the likes of master popular songwriters such as Leonard Cohen as chief idols. The result is an album that joyfully mashes together ambitious songwriting with horns, glockenspiels, Bollywood strings and jazz rhythms: something of which the band are immensely proud and raring to showcase to the world.
Their show at Edinburgh’s Electric Circus in support of Local Natives is their first opportunity to showcase this pride and excitement to a Scottish audience in 2013, and is likewise your opportunity to catch these fine young musicians on the upwards trajectory as they head towards things both big and bright.