Love in the afternoon and this high rise isn’t going to keep the demons out when they come looking. Lock up your absinthe and prepare to bleed, Cousteau are in town and tonight’s the night Cupid gets it.

Pedalling the usual London white-boy soul affairs – Tindersticks, Jack, Flaming Stars (N1 must now resemble something of a Goodnight Sweetheart time portal into 1960’s Paris, the streets are alive to the sound of A Bout De Souffle) – Cousteau’s particular vignettes of decadent modern urban romance have had the life breathed into them by a voice so sonorous it could break the hearts of skyscrapers. Liam McKahey, quiffed, tattooed and Irish is the kind of preternaturally handsome brawler with the soul of a poet you thought only existed in Caffrey’s ads. He could snap your neck and steal your girlfriend and you’d still love him.

He comes close too, as the frontman leads the band through the swooning autumnal waltz ‘Last Good Day Of The Year’ you can feel the heavens sigh with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and angels knees surely buckle to the perfumed sway of ‘She Don’t Hear Your Prayer’.

It’s beautiful, but there’s still the glaring distinction between the music Cousteau are trying to make and ‘Scott 3’. For all their - admittedly gorgeous – delivery, there’s a narcissistic devotion to style strangling lyrical purity for the sake of finesse. Too often you feel betrayed by the sumptuous lounge stylings when you consider that this is music decades old, and if you must shun progress then at least make every word you pull straight from our gaping hearts a poetry so devastating that it flushes the soul.

Still, Liam sings and love curls up in the corner and dies.

And for all their sartorial shortcomings (an over-fondness for Top Man… Frank and Dino didn’t get where they are today by looking like they were dressing for a Spacehog audition y’know), Cousteau, it should be remembered, make music to drown in. Music from the bachelor’s den, when all that’s left is the smell of her perfume and a mug of tea to balm the heartache.









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