Eye-popping rock music with the Lovers in Monaco

July 8, 2013 § 5 Comments

The Lovers in Monaco poster

The Lovers in Monaco poster

The singer’s eye fell out during the middle of the set. Yes, really. The eye fell out while he was pounding on the band’s second drum kit. But as far as we can tell, no one in the audience noticed.

Loud music does that. It provides great cover when your eye falls out on stage. And I nearly captured it for all time, immortalised in a video uploaded to YouTube. As Maxwell Smart would say, missed – by that much!

It happened when the Wellington art rock band, the Lovers in Monaco played at a Wellington art gallery in a leafy seaside suburb. Support was ably provided by Jet Jaguar. Art galleries are cool places to see live music. They are generally airy, neat and stylish venues and so was the Sea Star Gallery in Seatoun.

As the redoubtable lead singer (who values his internet anonymity) of the Lovers of Monaco tells it in an email:

After singing the chorus in our second song “Dirty Boy” I thought I should crank it up a notch, so I jumped on the drums.  I tend to pound away frenetically and this time, I got a bit too carried away.  In my physical contortions, my eye popped out.

He then describes what happened next:

For the uninitiated, you can’t tell when your eye pops out.  It’s a piece of methyl-acrylic that does its own thing and one-eyed people just have to roll with whatever is going down.  So the ping, it transpired, was the sound of my eye bouncing off my kick drum.  I turned and saw it staring back at me in the centre of my drum stool. The drum stool is black.  Eye is white.  It was iris side up.  It looked pretty macabre.

Here’s the quick recovery:

Anyway, rock is rock and I had made the call for the band to change to the chorus.  I had to deliver it so I shouted the lyrics into the microphone in a half strangled way while hunched over against the art gallery wall so the crowd couldn’t see the horror story unfolding before them.  Then I grabbed my eye and dashed off to the toilets to give it a quick wash and pop it back in.

Here’s the almost famous video taken on the night of 29 June 2013. As you will be able to see, members of the Lovers in Monaco are arrayed in a row along a long wall which made it difficult to frame the entire group together from my vantage point on the mezzanine floor.

Apparently, you can hear the sound the eyeball makes when it bounces off the kick drum. After repeated viewings, I can’t pick it but the singer is adamant.

Every word is true.  It was all filmed by some guy DocRaccoon and has been posted on YouTube. Sadly for rock posterity, he was focused on Nick’s guitar solo when my eye popped out.  But you can hear it ping at two minutes and 43 seconds.  Thenceforth you get a good shot of me hunched against the wall.

Here’s another video taken that night. I’m amused that of the only two songs I captured on my Flip recorder, one of them was almost an eye-opener. As it happens, I didn’t get the cigar but came close.

The Lovers in Monaco play what I categorised as a blend of Krautrock with a touch of LCD Soundsystem. But I’ve been disabused of the notion.  The singer says the band is a new “new rock and sleaze sound”.

Who else is rhyming ‘score’ with ‘Berhampore’ today?  Lock up your daughters because, all set to a backdrop of 1930s porn, the Lovers are here.

If you go to see the Lovers in Monaco, ask for an encore. Maybe even suggest to them that they change their name to the Lovers in Monocles.


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§ 5 Responses to Eye-popping rock music with the Lovers in Monaco

  • johnheighes says:

    Great post Charles.

    • Charles Mabbett says:

      Thanks, John. It’s all thanks to an unnamed singer in a Wellington Krautrock disco band. I hope they play again soon!

  • Liam Barr says:

    I’ll vouch for the eye pop as it happened right in front of me, I personally think the lovers could work it into the set. At the opening of the art show at the same gallery, a woman slotted 6 inch nails into her nasal cavity. Anyway it was a fun night and the music was the tonic.

  • […] performance has swiftly entered local folklore due to a most unusual mishap best read about via the post on Charles Mabbett’s blog. Enough to say that both performances sounded great fed through the Mayhem Sound System, with Peter […]

  • […] Lovers In Monaco have been bubbling under the radar for three years now since their first performance at a sold out midwinter celebration at, of all places, Newtown Bowling Club, where they had people dancing on the tables and screaming for encores until the band had run out of songs. Almost exactly one year later the band announced their second gig, at Seatoun’s Sea Star Gallery, a performance that has swiftly entered local folklore via a literally eye-popping performance best read about via the post on Charles Mabbett’s blog. […]

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