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Florence Joelle - Kiss Of Fire

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:15 pm
by garth cartwright
London Parisian Florence Joelle is a music biz professional, looking after the Warner/Atlantic jazz-soul and world music catalogues. She's charming and lovely, very smart and funny, and totally gorgeous. I count her as a good friend and Charlie and Flo were very close - she helming his last few Sound Of The World compilations. We both separately wrote here about her band as a live act a good while back - they showed spunky potential back then and, having replaced their original guitarist, have improved considerably. Actually, the guitarist Huck Whitney is the band's secret weapon: he really makes his instrument sing on this, their debut album.

Writing on friends is difficult - of course one is reluctant to criticism (I once paid to see a friend's band playing some awful London pub and when he asked me what I thought I told him they weren't very good. He didn't speak to me for a year. Of course, band went nowhere) as you want to support your friends. But you don't want to be a sycophant and offer false praise.

So I've taken my time with this one. Seeing Howard give Kiss Of Fire a good review on the Arts Desk encouraged me to believe it's not just friendship that makes me like this album.
http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?op ... Itemid=107

Having seen the band live lots of times I'm aware Florence & Kiss Of Fire are a fine live outfit but an album and a concert are two different things - Errol Linton & Adam Blake being a world class live outfit yet not quite having bottled that magic in the studio. This is a nice album with Florence's Minnie Mouse voice - well, it's a voice that's sultry but makes me laugh - up front and the band playing a blend of old school R&B and proto-rockabilly. It's very French in sensibility and the nine original songs have a nice flavour. This is music with character. And Huck's guitar is everywhere, adding fine touches that shimmer.

My only real problem is that the band lack a producer to push them - this is very much their live set and while that is fine I would like them to have been pushed a bit, to have used the studio to create things they can't do on stage. Maybe next time. Right now this is the best cigarettes and coffee album of 2011. Charlie would, I believe, have given Florence a nod and a smile.