Marcel – old fashioned pop with a curious folky twist played by cravat wearers

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They’re the sort of band who look like they should be Canadian.

That’s what a female friend of mine said about Marcel, who actually hail from London, via the Isle of Wight, but she’s got a point – they do have a certain visual style and a quirkiness that could be associated with some of the more leftfield acts from, say, Toronto or Montreal.

If that’s not reason enough to love ‘em, then how about the fact that they own all their own shoes and one of them wears a cravat?

Marcel play old fashioned pop, but with a curious folky twist and clever lyrics about girlfriends, animals and, err, Orson Welles. Just like us at PopJunkie, Marcel adore Squeeze, XTC, Syd Barrett, Robyn Hitchcock, Stephen Duffy/The Lilac Time, The Beachboys, The Velvet Underground and The Beatles – and this comes across in their irresistible tunes – some of which can be heard at their lovingly attended Myspace site:

“Marcel met, partly at least, upon the Isle of Wight, from which they escaped using only words strung together to create sentences and a ferry-fare thrust into their hands by a Victorian gentleman looking to start a Musical Circus. We currently reside in North London and are looking to rock this party, though, one hopes, without spilling anything,” says front-man Martin Koerner.

PopJunkie saw them play a fantastically arch acoustic set at The Good Ship in Kilburn, NW London, last weekend, complete with witty banter, amusing asides, hand gestures and microphone-based stage antics.

The band is also behind the highly successful – and excellent – London band and club night, No One Died, where PopJunkie can often be found propping up the bar.

Someone – probably Martin – once described Marcel as sounding like The Softboys and The Beachboys playing ludo together.

We’re game, are you?

See Marcel on Dec 17th at The Betsy Trotwood in Farringdon, London, where, for one night only, they will be joined on drums by Billy Reeves – the svengali behind Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s old indie band, theaudience.

Also on the bill are multi-instrumental popsters EsioTrot and Hexicon, who sound like Belle and Sebastian covering early Blur tracks but, better, even, than that sounds.

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