Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Dead Weather @ Birmingham O2 Academy Monday 26th October 2009

Ladeeez and gentlemen (cue fanfare…dancing girls…fireworks…Ant & Dec) it gives me great pleasure (more fanfare…some of those dancing horses with nubile young ladies on the back) to introduce (drum roll, flashing lights, lasers, dry ice..hell let’s have some more nubile young ladies…) Mr Andy Watsonnnnnnnnnn!!! (Over the top? Moi?) Yes, it’s guest reviewer time! This time Andy braves the wet weather (can you see where I’m going with this?) to catch the…(wait for it)…Dead Weather (ooooh that’s smooth)…

In January 2009, after an impromptu jam session at Jack White's “Third Man” studios, the idea for The Dead Weather came about. Two and a half weeks of writing and recording later and the band was fully formed with fellow Weathers Alison Mosshart ( The Kills ) Dean Fertita ( Queens Of The Stone Age ) Jack Lawrence ( The Greenhorns & Raconteurs) joining Jack White (White Stripes & The Raconteurs ).

Just a few short months later in March The Dead Weather debuted their first single “Hang You From The Heavens” at the launch of Third Man Record’s HQ in Nashville before playing their very first live show. Fast forward seven months and the band have been touring all around the world before landing in rainy Birmingham at the recently opened New O2 Academy. Surprisingly the venue was only about three quarters full, with the balcony area almost completely empty apart from the support band sitting down to watch Jack White's…well…what do we all them…side-project (or was that The Raconteurs)…Indie/Alternative Super-Group? On tonight's performance the only thing that comes to mind is SUPERGROUP. From the opening song Alison’s prowling the stage like a lioness scowling and snarling at the crowd who are lapping up every beat from Jack. W and Jack. L's rhythm section.

The band kept the talking between songs to an absolute minimum and just seemed to love playing, so much so that each song was played with as much if not more enthusiasm as the previous number. Half way into the set Jack White came out from behind the drums to take up guitar duties for one song and played one hell of a guitar solo, showing he’s one of the best riff makers around at the moment. Throughout the gig the crowd seem awestruck and under Alison's spell as she keep prowling the stage, often jumping up and walking across the monitors balancing like she was on a tight-rope. During the encore White again came out from behind the drums to take up guitar duties. At one point all the members of the band were playing guitar, with a drum machine and sampler providing the beats. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a band play so tightly and be so connected by the music. For a time, when White was playing the guitar, Alison was dancing in an almost a hypnotic state, her eyes fixed deep into his showing this band is all about the music. No egos just pure music!! The highlight for me was the closing song “Treat Me Like Your Mother” with great beats, seething guitars and one hell of a rhythm section. Jack White surely has the musical Midas touch.

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