Heloise & The Savoir Faire at Club Helsinki

Wearing a hot pink sequined wrap that she removed after a few songs to reveal a Betsy Johnson jumpsuit with a loud pattern, front lady Heloise of Heloise & The Savoir Faire is a fiery force both on and off the stage. Even before she and her band took Club Helsinki and its inhabitants captive this past Thursday with their drum-driving, dance-inducing music, Heloise stood out because of her big, easy smile and a personality that fills up the room and commands attention. This serves her well on-stage, and I have a feeling that even if she had been wearing a potato sack all eyes would have been on her.

Heloise’s voice is just as big as her personality, and her vocals alternate between cutesy, sultry, and edgy with an occasional scream. Of course, a leading lady is dependent on the quality of her band, and The Savoir Faire is worthy of praise as well. Consisting of James Bellizia on guitar, Rob O’Dea on bass, Katie McGreevy on lemurs and backing vocals, and Luke Hughett on drums, the band delivered two hours of non-stop high-energy retro disco pop/rock with a punk edge.

The show also featured a very sassy dancer named Joe Shepard. Not simply a backup dancer, he performed choreographed moves that were well-suited to the music and added a fantastic visual element to the show. Joe boasts circus-worthy control over his body and contortions, and he also appears to have a theatrical background — all of this serving to make him incredibly entertaining to watch. In fact, at times Joe even temporarily stole the spotlight from Heloise. Apparently inspired, towards the end of the night one attendee who had been dancing energetically for most of the show decided to go all out, diving into a forward roll before dashing to a pole supporting the structure of the building and twirling himself around it. Although he was the only person in the audience who was confident enough to behave so fearlessly, Heloise & The Savoir Faire are apt to inspire the same feelings of fun and freedom that guy was undoubtedly experiencing in most listeners — whether you act on that or not in such a physical way is up to you.

Check out the video for the band’s single, “Illusions,” below:

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