Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Crimes / La Roux / The Electrilickers / Death Ohh Eff @ The Rainbow, Friday 6th February 2009

Snow...snow? Call that snow. Pah. When I were a lad we had 60ft of snow every winter, t'wer so cold the outside loo would freeze over from October right through to April and we'd have to hold everything in until spring. Happily the Rainbow crowd are made of sterner stuff and we pretty much had a full house. Death Ohh Eff kicked things off with a stunning ambient piece inspired by Eno and Glass. I liked it. Atmospheric. What's that? Oh. It was feedback from a dodgy guitar lead? Right ho. Well, once all that was fixed the Ohh Eff did their twitchy shouty electro thing in fine style. Recently tipped by the walking skellington himself Mr Steve 'give the man a pork pie for god's sake' Lamacq as 'good' (cheers Steve...that's the kind of insight that makes national radio such a treat), they're evolving into a kind of a shoutier, rockier, twitchier Foals. I do like a good twitch, it's probably the sign of some form of degenerative disorder but there we go, you can't have everything, right?

Next up The Electrilickers...well half of them. It seems that the guitar dude was stuck in Croydon (nasty) in the snow. Oh, before anyone from Croydon puts a fatwa on my head I'm sure it's a lovely place to be stuck...really. Anyways, I've seen The Electrilickers before a while back and recall being taken with one track in particular Nous Sommes Allees a la Discotecque, sung in French, all classy like. Just as good tonight. In fact, despite being a man down the lady 'licker (oh dear...that sounds a little close to the bone doesn't it...oh does that...keep writing, they won't notice) played a great set and, despite her reservations, I quite enjoyed the slower numbers (check out Fears). Tonight I was taken with No Rest For The Wicked too, full marks for the wooowooowooo bits.

Third on the bill...chuff's only hotly tipped next big thing and 80's pop saviour La Roux! I'm loving this whole 80's revival. Old skool keyboards? Check. Simple, easy to follow and sing along with chorus? Check. Signature haircut? Check. Glam videos? Check. Yep. It's all there. "I'm going in for the kill, I'm doing it for the thrill"...hell, it's just great pop. Lead La Roux, Elly, has a surprisingly strong live voice. I'm guessing there's been some serious vocal training there. The songs may sound simple, but there's a fair amount of vocal gymnastics in places. It was a shortish set (6 songs) but she did exactly what this tour is all about I guess, get the buzz going. Debut single Quicksand got the biggest cheer of the night (damn that's a catchy mother...the daughter of Prince's When Dove's Cry), but every track's a pop gem. If you're an old bastard like me you'll pick up little snippets of old friends, like the touch of Blancmange in Reflections are Protection (jeez, that's an even catchier mother). Unlike Lady Ga Ga (just don't get it I'm afraid) La Roux's worth the hype and, following a sold out tour with Lily Allen in March I'm predicting nothing less than pop stardom. Check her out, it would be Roux'd not to (I've been waiting all day to write that).

Last up the multi-headed (there's six of 'em!) funk rocksters The Crimes. Some great guitar playing, bongoing and vocals tonight - they're pretty much guaranteed to get a crowd moving -and three covers, including a blazing version of The Doobie Brothers' classic Long Train Running. Of their self penned material 'I Know' is standing out as the strongest so far...I can almost hear some brass on there (sax, trumpets...that kind of thing). Seb's vocals were gutsy and powerful throughout a set that lasted well over an hour (not an easy thing to maintain) and the encore demanded by the crowd was justly deserved. Constructive criticism? I like the covers but maybe just one per set? I think the band's developing some good material of their own, the danger of putting this next to such familiar tracks could distract from their songs which would be a...oh...I have to do it...crime. Yes, you're right. I'm going straight to bed without any supper.

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