soundtrack of our lives. ladytron. ikara colt. raveonettes

6 02 2003

NME Awards Show London Astoria 06.02.03

Not really sure why the doors are so early (6pm), causing me to miss most of The Raveonettes. Well, happy hour caused me to miss most of the Raveonettes, but I needed a few drinks to face the Astoria’s price list. Three quid for a can of Carling? Fuck right off. Lucky then there’s such an assortment of fine musical treats to be had. The Raveonettes have a B-movie feel to them, from the ‘50s-style artwork on their excellent record Whip it On to their twangy guitars and song titles like ‘Attack of the Ghost Riders’. The only problem with the album is lack of variety to the vocals. Live there’s a rawer edge to the songs, as they veer into Jesus and Mary Chain country.

Ikara Colt are spikier and punkier. Their disjointed fuzz-rocking was lost a bit in the cavernous Astoria until ‘Rudd’ kicked things off properly, and their energetic stage presence whipped the crowd up. Seconds later singer Paul sends the mic arcing up in the air and disappears in the crowd. A quality moment, nearly matched as a highlight by the finale of ‘Sink Venice’ which had everyone singing along. Go get the album Chat and Business, learn all the words, then go see them in a little back room where they can really make spiky fuzz-punk magic.

Liverpool’s finest electronickistas Ladytron come across as pretty austere. You wouldn’t think four people in matching uniforms – black – pressing buttons on little boxes – black – would make much of a live experience, but you’d be wrong. Ladytron are ace. Totally captivating stage presence, and surprisingly storming songs. ‘Miss Playgirl’ and ‘Seventeen’ are particularly stomping.

Then it’s time for The Soundtrack of Our Lives . They enjoy a certain highbrow reputation, but tonight turns out to be all about having a rockin’ good time. Not sure they deserved quite the level of adulation they received, but still, they know how to rock. Double headed guitars, Union Jack jackets, loads of hands-in-the-air clapping along… it’s our own little corner of the 70s. They sound like the Who playing Led Zeppelin at a gospel meeting, and they’re great.

This review first appeared on uelsu.net.

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