Boy Mandeville. My answer was an honest "no", and so when they arrived I wasn't sure what to expect. Obviously by now the night is a bit of a blur, but I do remember being really impressed by their live show and telling complete strangers, "I'm going to write about them on my blog!".
If you regularly read this blog, it will not be a surprise that it's taken me this long to get around to it.
Their new single, 'Gorilla' is out at the end of this month, and has served as a personal reminder of just how good they are. It's an incredibly lazy comparison to bring up the similarities between them and Vampire Weekend solely on the basis of their leaning towards afro-pop fusions, but as a big fan of both bands I do mean it in an entirely complimentary way when I say if you like Vampire Weekend, you'll be very into these guys.
In 'Gorilla' Boy Mandeville have made music that's the perfect accompaniment to a glowing summer's day; gentle and playful with this wonderful lilting quality in the warm vocals, the smooth, agile instrumentals and the beautifully danceable calypso beats. "I found a sweet harmony" sings the chorus, and I can't think of a better word than "sweet" to describe the tone of this song - joyful and happy without being overly saccharine, it's just begging to be played at a festival for some outlandish dancing in a field under the bright sunshine.
They'll be playing at Joe Bloggers on May 19th at Dingwalls in Camden alongside some other amazing artists. It's a night curated by some of my favourite blogs, so I highly recommend you get yourself to that if you can - my memories of their performance in November combined with this amazing video make it clear that they are quite the live act:
It's really not often enough that music is just so much fun.
'Gorilla' is released on Round The Dial Records on digital May 30th, and physically on June 6th. I urge you to go and buy it.