Caravan Palace, 5/22, House of Blues, Boston

Promo by Gillian Daniels

Want to see a time traveling big band Sunday, May 22nd at the House of Blues? Well, one isn’t playing there, but the closest thing to it is. Caravan Palace is an energetic, vibrant, French electro-swing monster. They’re strange, science fictional, and sensational.

Caravan Palace is my personal ear candy and has been since I first heard “Bambous” off their self-titled 2008 album. Their sound is cheerful and energizing, something that gets me up on hard mornings and cools me off after bad days. They’re the retro-future earworm I’ve longed for, the jitterbug robot brass band perfect for listening to on loop.

They’re wonderfully difficult to pigeon-hole. I tell friends they combine swing with the slick, electronic groove of Daft Punk, but that doesn’t really do justice to the percussion-perfect “Dramophone” or the kinetic, tightly wound “Clash.” They’re their own creature and they embrace their disparate influences with pride.

Their most recent album, <I°_°I>, (yes, that’s an emoji; I’ve seen this album referred to as Robot Face) was created in their Parisian studios. Here, jive is sweetly married to hip-hop and synthesizers. They engineer for a cool elegance, but they bring their high energy to the hyper “Lone Digger” and swanky “Comics.” Their 1920’s beats are juxtaposed with violin, upright bass, and front woman Zoé Colotis delightful voice.

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts has been kind enough to bring them to Boston once again. The former is a non-profit organization that regularly exposes the Boston area with international, indie, folk, jazz, and eclectic bands. I’m grateful to them many times over for enriching the city.

I’ve never seen one of Caravan Palace’s shows live before. Won’t you join me?

Caravan Palace is playing Sunday, May 22nd, 8pm, at House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston. The tickets are $25 advance, $28 day of show, general admission, standing room only. For more tickets and information, call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

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