"FATE & GLORY"
Fate & Glory is a dynamic, disco-infected stomper with Jean in full falseto mode and the most catchy whistle since Bryan Ferry’s famous whiz during Jealous Guy. It feels like watching Flash Gordon, Saturday Night Fever and Midnight Cowboy all at once.
Named after the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo are the tightly knit cluster of four likely lads, four friends who take to their musical ambitions like a souped up Pontiac Firebird to a freshly tarmaced autobahn. Fronted by singer Jean Waterlot, the present incarnation of Montevideo is not the first one, but as Jean points out:
‘Montevideo is 100% a group effort, we truelly thrive on unity.’
A classically trained pianist who went trought an intense jazz period as a trumpet playing teen (‘Chet Baker did it for me – still does’), Waterlot is a musical gourmand. A self-taught bass and guitar player in total awe of Queen and David Bowie, but also into Sonic Youth and the 70s soundtracks of French composer Michel Legrand. ‘To us, Bowie during Heroes is a God. How he materialised from this glampop singer into this complex yet captivating, otherwordly creature is amazing. In my eyes, he’s the epitome of grandness’. Another one of Montevideo’s inspirations is soul legend Marvin Gaye - ‘You can’t help being impressed by the massive aura that man used to radiate’.As a student, Waterlot spend 9 months in San Francisco. Signing up for English courses but also exploring the versatile nightlife of the City by the Bay. Inspired by the mixtapes of local legends such as Mark Farina and DJ Sneak, he experienced his first stint as a DJ. All these influences, topped with the genetic chemistry with his brother Pierre on drums and the addition of new recruit Gabriel on bass make Montevideo a band hard to pigeonhole. Evidence of their awesome abilities arrive soon with the ‘Tribal Dance’ EP (iTunes), released on Headman’s acclaimed Relish imprint.
‘Working with Seba was a blessing. He injected some extra spunk to the songs, the same energy Thomas Bangalter used to put into his releases on Roulé.’
Title track ‘Tribal Dance’ bursts into action with a mutated jungle boogie, until glamorous strings and a rubber bass line drop in and guide the tune onto a gold and ivory paved dancefloor. ‘The strings don’t come from a box’, insists Jean. ‘Manu, our gitarist, is also a very gifted violin player. His father was actually a famous composer who indoctrinated his son with a classical training. Now we are bearing the fruits of his musical upbringing!’ ‘Fate & Glory’ is another dynamic, disco-infected stomper with Jean in full falseto mode and the most catchy whistle since Bryan Ferry’s famous whiz during Jeaous Guy. It feels like watching Flash Gordon, Saturday Night Fever and Midnight Cowboy all at once. Finally, ‘Mr. Drake’ is a haunting funeral march, treading the footsteps of Japan circa Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Bowie.
‘I wrote Mr. Drake as an imaginary epitaph for Nick Drake – quite dramatic, I know’, laughs Jean. ‘I guess elegance is at the core of everything I try to do. Be it playing records in a club, dressing up for a late night dinner or writing songs for Montevideo. I try to capture the feeling I had the first time I saw a picture of Chet Baker- the ultimate dandy, but with a twist. Outside the box dandy-ism, that’s what we’re aiming for’.
Jean Waterlot – vocals, keys
Manu Simonis – guitar, strings
Gabriel Reding – bass
Pierre Waterlot – drums