Bon Homme is the solo project of WhoMadeWho’s lead singer and bass player Thomas Høffding. His recent work features vocals from Jenny Rossander, aka Lydmor (literally translated to mean ‘Soundmother’), who joined him on stage for this extended Spot Festival performance, which in my opinion was the highlight of the day. For their first collaborative performance on stage, the pair delivered an eclectic and captivating set that evolved exponentially in both tempo and perplexity.
Lydmor opened the set, delivering a personally twisted eulogy that consisted purely of her ethereal vocal layers and a synthesiser. The exception was one song where she disappeared behind a piano, providing a breath of air in-between the abundance of digitalism, and proving that her talents run deeper than her mixing abilities.
Tripping on her own artistic high, with eyes practically popping out of her head, Lydmor’s performance was spellbinding. Her flawless vocals shimmered out effortlessly, complemented by a seducingly eccentric expression. There was something slightly demonic existing in her dark aura that was a stark contrast to the innocence of her angelic vocals. Rossander’s presence was literally bewitching as she moved as though casting a spell on the audience. At one point she laid back upon the mixing table like a human sacrifice, chanting the symbolic lyrics “the things we do for love”. It was a bit like watching the unpredictable and unexplainable events of a Quentin Tarantino movie unfold, and as you know, this can be disturbingly compelling.
Bon Homme’s solo appearance of the concert was infused with bizarre shades of metro-sexuality. The sound reminded me slightly of a Japanese anime cartoon with the highly digitalised, robotic sound. The repetitive sounds of loop machines and synthesisers united with his high-range, highly synthesised vocals. Jumping from deep tones to alluring falsettos evoked a trans-gender kind of vibe. Høffding’s appearance, however, was not in the slightest bit allusive to this. Wearing his iconic black hat and bow tie, his mannerisms replicated that of a puppet on a string. Moving in a jerkily and animated fashion around the stage, he represented both the puppet and the puppet master, the ventriloquist and the doll; using his own body as the vessel for the expression of his alter ego, Bon Homme.
The set concluded with the two joining forces on the stage together, forming a whole new level of eccentricity with their individual quirkiness bouncing off each other relentlessly. The eclectic music became slightly more poppy when combined, which is often the inevitable effect of a male/female duo. The twinkling tones of a xylophone occasionally overlayed the highly synthesised sound, providing momentary glimpses of clarity amongst the medley of electronic whimsy. As a final request, Høffding asked for the audience’s help in what would be Rossander’s first ever stage-dive, which they did so willingly as she naturally succumbed to the receptive hands.
I have to say, this collaboration is definitely worth seeing live. Bon Homme and Lydmor’s recorded stuff is nice, but the whole expression of the music is heavily dependent on the artistic performance that comes with it. Listening to it through headphones is a comparatively dull experience; it truly comes to life through Høffding and Roassander’s extravagant personalities. The supporting visual display that was projected on screens in front of the stage became almost ubiquitous because the performance itself occupied the full attention of all senses. It was the stage presence that really won me over and drew me deep into the abyss of this concert.