Homage à Trois is a grandiose, pre-Christmas celebration of pop mastery where some of the city’s most inventive musicians are tasked with covering songs from a carefully selected record. Following March’s reimagining of Taylor Swift’s 1989, the event promises to be an “ambitious, unusual and eclectic” take on Lorde’s second album, Melodrama.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show quite like it.”
Melodrama is one of 2017’s standout releases across any genre, combining effortlessly cool hooks and smart quips with an overarching sadness. Its all-encompassing nature makes it the perfect choice for the show’s format.
“I’m looking for a record which is solid all the way through – something which works as a whole – and feels like it will encourage people to do unconventional covers rather than straight up reinterpretations,” said organiser John Helps. “It’s an unusual pop record that a lot of people have taken to heart.”
Listeners increasingly choose to listen to artists on shuffle and through algorithmically curated playlists. So, as a concept, there’s something wonderfully ridiculous and timely about bringing a completely different set of musicians together to appreciate a whole body of work by, albeit artfully, dicing it up.
But how do the performers approach that reinterpretation? Adam Pickering of Rich List starts by presenting himself with a simple question: “I ask myself ‘What would Carly Rae Jepsen do?’ Then I do that thing. Although last time I just put the drums to Vienna by Ultravox behind it and that seemed to work so maybe I’ll do that again.”
Kermes’ Emily Rose Teece finds the whole process, well, a bit weird. “It’s like reverse songwriting. I start with a brief, make it punk, noise, dreampop, ballad, whatever. From there I break the song into its individual components and try and bend them to that brief, adding and subtracting things as I go along.”
It would be fair to question how anyone makes a decision on which song to choose from a record that is solid gold from start to finish, however, she didn’t have any problems deciding on Homemade Dynamite.
“There’s just so much love in the song – that utterly arresting vocal, the negative space, the emotional rush, the sheer teenage invincibility of it all. I just want to live inside it, to build a little nest and just soak in how visceral it all feels. Also, you can really dance to it.”
Giving a space for Leicester’s pop visionaries to essentially run wild over someone else’s music, the event at its core aims to be as playful as possible. “You can expect a lot of fun,” said Adam. “It’s a night which doesn’t take itself too seriously that is built around being a little bit silly and taking affectionate liberties with the songs.”
Emily agrees. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show quite like it.”
Homage à Trois comes to Leicester’s Firebug on 22 nd December. Get Tickets Here.