Just when you think the region can’t get any more prolificer in terms of producing quality bands making exciting and interesting music, BANG, up pops another one. This time it’s the turn of Athletes In Paris, who return to Split Festival this year for the first time after wooing audience members over in their Split debut back in 2010.
Athletes In Paris come from the Northeast and sing in an accent too broad for anyone outside a 50 mile radius of Newcastle to fully comprehend more than little soundbites. To the accidental tourist they are an indie band speaking in tongues. They have two drummers playing world beats and latin grooves. Their incredibly catchy and equally idiosyncratic pop songs are punctuated with chanted gang-vocals and frantic muted guitar picking. It's one big multicultural northern melting pot and it may give you that long awaited EUREKA! moment that makes you realise the missing link between Earth, Wind and Fire, Friendly Fires, Jack Penate and Prefab Sprout.
Having spent most of 2011 playing a series of guerrilla gigs across the UK, playing to packed audiences at gigs from Newcastle’s Evolution Emerging’ to Brighton’s Great Escape and garnering praise from the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson and Futureheads frontman Barry Hyde, Athletes In Paris sprinted in 2012 with their second single release, Echoes Louder Than Voices. Echoes Louder Than Voices has all the hallmarks of that rather specific North East indie, poppy sound but injects it with double drums and Prefab Sprout-esque groove that’s near god damn irresistible. All of which makes for a rather innovate catchy track of swooping pop goodness and Athletes In Paris one to catch at Split Festival 2012.