Now you can criticise the NME for many things...dont get me started but not for the quality of its tours. The last 3 years have included Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers and Arctic Monkeys, all of whom are now in giddy stratospheres. So who will be the band to make the big break from this show?
The early betting is on Klaxons of course. Its day-glo-a-go-go in here as we see glo-stick waistcoats, spectacles, crowns, you name it. One wag has even stuck one through his flies and given himself a glo-stick penis...hilarious!
New Young Pony Club are first up and they are a bit of a surprise. Prior to tonight Id been seduced by the electronica of marvellous single Ice Cream but they start the evening with a guitar riff from the draw marked rock. And in truth its pretty unremarkable fare. Whilst singer Ty Bulmer has the energy and attitude ("make like its 11:30, not 7:30") the songs let her down. The aforementioned Ice Cream is the clear highlight in a disappointing 5 song set. There was no raving here.
That said, there were never likely to be any shapes thrown by your writer. Generally, Im not much of a dancer. To explain, picture Romeo Magic Number jumping up and down with wild abandon. Its not right, it is? Well, thats me folks. Therefore, I feel I provide the ultimate test to any indie rave credentials these bands claim to have.
The Sunshine Underground certainly have a decent go at getting me grooving though. They open with Put You In Your Place, the single The Rapture should have come back with, and the pace is relentless throughout. Craig Wellingtons voice is strained from song one/line one, backed by a frenetic indie dance throbbing bass, jagged guitar, echoed vox and swirly noises.
I had been warned off their album 'Raise The Alarm by a sage theres only so much cowbell a man can take, and there is even a solo on the albums title track their last tune this eve. It may only have been six songs, but they have made their impression. My feet were moving from ball to toes and knees were bending. I may even have dipped a shoulder during the frenzied Commercial Breakdown. Well done them.
CSS are late. This is probably due to the road crew having to lay a carpet before they come on. Or maybe its that the 40 minute slot they are allocated is longer than their 34 minute long album. When they finally arrive, the 5 girls are wearing burqa hoods which are swiftly removed after a primal-screamed hello.
The crowd seem delighted that the first note they hear is that of 2 Unlimiteds No Limits which does meld seamlessly with CSS Suxxx. Its immediately apparent what the carpet is for, as Lovefoxx is bounding, shimmying and leaping - any number of moves which would see her on her backside on a slippery floor.
The beat is irresistible throughout, and Alalala and Off The Hook provoke the feet to begin to move fully off the floor. By the time we get to Lets Make Love... a full scale frug is taking place - Check me out. Its impossible not to though, as CSS are a proper good time band, songs full of drinking, dancing and shagging. Its a hedonistic take on life, but why the hell not?
The only shape thrown during Klaxons though was the raised hand scratching the head, for this was a real Curates Egg of a performance. When the bass is pumping and turning your legs to jelly, particularly on Atlantis to Interzone and Gravitys Rainbow, they are worth every plaudit thrown at them. But you cannot disguise that the falsetto vocals are weak and weedy, and on the less shouty and frantic songs, of which Golden Skans is the prime example, it just doesnt work for me.
But then, what the f*ck do I know? - the kids lap it up from start to finish. This band is about more than their music, they could be the forerunners of a movement that will engross identity-seeking youths, inspiring and opening doors for more innovative and experimental bands. Im all for that, but with a parental word of warning. All this day-glo and 80 revivalist fashion will inevitably take us to the rebirth of the shell suit surely nobody wants that?
sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.