The Inspector Cluzo @ Shibuya Club Quattro (Nov. 20th, 2014)

Putting the soul in rock and roll
Live Report : "Putting the soul in rock and roll" @ Shibuya Club Quattro 2014.11.20

The Inspector Cluzo

Inspector Clouseau is “an inept and incompetent police detective in the French Surete, whose investigations are marked by disorder.” The Inspector Cluzo on the other hand, are a pair of self proclaimed “French Bastards”, whose music and live performance are similarly marked by disorder. This is disorder of the best kind however, the disorder of rock and roll.

The Inspector Cluzo are a pair of Frenchman (guitarist Malcom Lacrouts and drummer Phil Jourdain) who don’t play by the rules of the music industry. They stand out for having courage and conviction in a time when most professional musicians don’t. For starters, name me a rock band with only two members, if you make it past five, I’m impressed. It’s amazing how hard The Inspector Cluzo rocks despite only having two members. They play a wide range of musical styles like hard rock, metal, funk, soul and more. They do so with more passion and enthusiasm than bands three or four times their size. They take risks, they make mistakes, they improvise, they voice their opinion and they’re political. As Lacrouts put it during the show, “In Europe, they have all this shitty, English, pop-rock, hype band, playing exactly live like the record, with the same notes, without any soul, any risks…fuck that! We ‘ve got soul, and Japan has soul too.”

The Inspector CluzoThis November saw them play in their 44th country despite the duo handling everything themselves; they’ve been doing their own management, booking, label and promotion since inception, despite their growing fan base around the world. Thanks largely to Fuji Rock and friends they’ve made here along the way, they seem to have a strong connection with Japan. They’ve been coming here frequently since 2009 including most recently this year’s Fuji Rock Festival.

With song titles like, “Fuck free hugs”, “Better off in Afghanistan”, and “Why a vulgar french band cannot play shitty English pop music” they aren’t exactly radio friendly, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their sound varies from hair metal-esque guitar squeals, with high pitched vocals, to slowed down blues and soul melodies. Tunes such as “Two Days”, “Put your hands up” and “Fuck the Bass Player” yielded the most cheer from the small but appreciative crowd in Quattro on this night. Their set flowed between heavy, thunderous, squealing lighting bolts of chaos to low-down funky grooves which usually segued into to a bit of banter.

Some of their live show staples were on display tonight too. These include drummer Jourdain hopping up on his drums and shaking his ass as commanded by Lacrouts, to the delight of fans below. Midway through their set they also invited a couple fans up on stage to slow dance with the drummer. The Inspector Cluzo While the chosen gal was dancing, our guy from the crowd was going non-stop on his camera phone snapping pics of everything. This was dealt with by Lacrouts is a humorous and curse-laden display.

They kept it fun and musical all the way through, with a little anti-government sentiment thrown in for good measure. They ended the set jamming out as hard as they did all night, no lyrics, just raw expression. “This is rock and roll” Lacrouts exclaimed, as they continued to jam they stripped down the pieces and the equipment on stage. They took away the mics, the symbols and all the rest until it was just two guys, a guitar and a bass drum. Stripped down, simple, vulgar, but pure, it’s clear Cluzo love what they’re doing regardless of money or fame. They’re fighting the good fight, to keep the soul in rock and roll.

–>Photo Report

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Photos:
Taio Konishi
taio@smashingmag.net
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Text:
James Mallion
james@smashingmag.net

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