Take one guitar-playing, ‘80s-loving singer and add a classically trained musician with a penchant for the obscure and introspective. What do you end up with? Garcon Garcon, the electro-pop musical union between Sydney boys Nathan Mahon and Nick Tsirimokos.
With such disparate backgrounds, Tsirimokos told the Star Observer it took a while for the duo to tune into the same musical wavelength. “The first few weeks we decided to try and make music together we had very polite jam sessions — it took a while to break the ice. We were both very shy,” he laughed.
That was 18 months ago, and in that time they’ve crafted an impressive clutch of electro gems, honed by regular live appearances at Mahon’s popular Hot Rod queer parties at the Oxford Hotel.
Fittingly for a band whose name means ‘boy’ in French, Garcon Garcon’s songs have a tender, youthful feel to them. Like that Swedish pop goddess Robyn, they seem to understand that anyone, no matter what age, can identify with songs of teenage lust and yearning.
One listen to Take Me Out on their Facebook page and you’ll feel like you’re back at your Year 10 formal, wishing you could ask the captain of the footy team for a slow dance.
“A lot of them are quite teenage, shy love songs,” Tsirimokos said.
“When I write songs, I’m always trying to be the serious, cool guy. But what I end up with is always more pop, and probably more honest than I’m prepared for,” laughed Mahon.
It’s not all quite so earnest — an arch cover of Kiss’ I Was Made For Lovin You gave the band an early breakthrough when it was chosen to soundtrack Peter Morrissey’s fashion parade at this year’ Sydney Fashion Festival.
“On our own, we write quite serious stuff. But when we’re together, our music becomes more fun and playful,” said Tsirimokos.
Playful and unashamedly queer: Maybe Tonight is a sweet love song to a boy, while the pair’s publicity photos by Elvis Di Fazio — all flexed muscles, facial hair and spread legs — dial up the homoeroticism to a level not seen in pop since the ‘80s heyday of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
“I suppose we have to be careful not to get pigeonholed as a ‘gay band’ — we want to keep an open profile,” Mahon said.
“But having said that, both being gay, it’s really nice to be supported by gay audiences.”
And they’re returning the support — on December 11, the duo will play their debut Melbourne gig, headlining ALSO’s 30th birthday party, Bring Back The Love, at the Market. They promised the Melbourne audience would be treated to “faster, more danceable” versions of their tracks.
An EP – aptly titled EP – is on its way in the early months of 2011, along with some hush-hush high-profile Sydney shows.
“We can’t say too much right now, but let’s just say you’ll probably be seeing us around during the (Mardi Gras) festival,” teased Mahon.
info: Garcon Garcon, ALSO’s Bring Back The Love party, December 11 at the Market, Melbourne. Sign up to the band’s mailing list at www.garcongarcon.com for Sydney tour dates and EP release info.