Battant (3 stars)


Signed to Paris’ Kill the DJ label, sometime home of Optimo’s own How to Kill the DJ (Part 2) mix, Battant are a class above most other bands of their ilk. Look to lead singer Chloe Raunet for the reason why, her jeans, plain white T-shirt and cropped, androgynous hair trying and failing – like Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry – to disguise a model’s cheekbones and complexion. A most un-Optimo request for her to remove her top was met with the politest putdown in memory: ‘There really isn’t much there – yours look bigger.’ What a lady.

Like an analogue Ladytron or a Long Blondes who are more concerned with the music than their clothes, the London-based trio (Joel Dever and Tim Fairplay do the hard work in the background) combine austere electronica with ragged guitars to create an archetypal Optimo live experience. Raunet herself sings like Ari Up, dipping in and out of an overdramatic baritone which doesn’t quite suit her voice but which complements the music perfectly, giving songs like ‘Radio Rod’ and ‘Kevin 1989’ a mix of youthful vigour and period grime.

Optimo at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 28 Jun

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