Life Is Short, Play Your Music Loud

Guest Post by Mike Marlowe (Twitter:@AlmightyMarlowe)

the-golden-yearOne of the strangest, saddest, and obscure music tragedies in years is the story of English synth-pop band, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool.    Formed in 2009, their debut single was also their biggest hit, “Dance The Way I Feel”.  Follow-up singles like “Jackson’s Last Stand” and “These New Knights” only added to their popularity and they were now appearing in festivals all over Europe along with bands like La Roux.   Who could imagine the epic twist in fate as they prepared to release their first studio album.


ou est le swimmingOn August 20, 2010, lead singer, Charles Haddon (only 22 yrs old) committed suicide after the band’s set at Belgium’s Pukkelpop music festival.   During the show, Haddon leaped into the crowd for a stage dive but rather than catch him, the crowd parted and one young woman took the brunt of the impact.  She severely injured her leg and 4 vertebrae after the failed “stage dive”.   The crowd was furious. Haddon was visibly distraught and repeatedly saying “I hope she’ll pull through, I hope she’ll be able to walk again”.

ou estBathed in fear, guilt, and paranoia that he may have crippled a woman for life, while setting his band liable for a huge lawsuit, Haddon climbed a large broadcast tower mast behind the main stage and jumped to this death.   If only he had waited a day…. the following afternoon a hospital representative reported, “She will make a full recovery, she just needs rest”.    Ou Est Le Swimming Pool was no more.  Haddon’s bandmates and his family agreed to release their debut album, “The Golden Year” only a weeks after his death.  The album hinted at the band’s gleaming potential, a sad and familiar tragic story of youth and talent ending too soon.   If there’s a takeaway to their story, let it be this– Life is short, play your music loud.

“DANCE THE WAY I FEEL”   From their final 2010 concert