Hoxton's new favourite band and a bunch of Sunderland kids who think they are Gang Of Four. Recipe for a riot? We think so. Virtual Festivals canvasses the 100 Club for signs of decent new music.
If it wasn’t obvious enough within the first five seconds of ‘Le Garage’, The Futureheads have come to save British rock from the evil clutches of American garage shite and British garage shiter. Comparisons with Gang Of Four are pretty well founded – their guitarist, Andy Gill, has produced their record, but just as you fear The Futureheads could turn into an anal, avant-garde art punk outfit, out they come with some blistering harmonics and hook-laden, catchy chorus. Fuck it, they sound like Gang Of Four, but that’s good.
Like The Clash, The Only Ones and The Jam, their sound if pure, unadulterated Britishness. This is not more evident than in their fine debut ‘Carnival Kids’ a literal piece of rollercoaster no wave rock. Like their whole set, it’s short, sharp sweetness. The kind that wraps itself around your tongue and licks out your insides. It’s settled, The Futureheads are like Aliens.
The Kills then, are slightly different. Stoner blues music for those that think Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the epitome of cool. The stupidly named ‘Hotel’ stands to our left with a curly great scowl on his face, seemingly revelling in his notoriety among everyone as being ‘a bit of wanker’. For those who don’t know, it’s that bloke from Scarfo, Jamie Hince. Admittedly, he’s churning out brilliant guitar strokes against the backdrop of solely a drum machine whilst across the stage, beauty hidden by her face of fringe, female vocalist Alison Mosshart, aka VV gasps through ‘Superstition’, the opener from their debut LP ‘Keep On Your Mean Side’. Every boy and girl in the room wants to shag her, including Mr. Hotel.
Reminding us very much of a stripped down Von Bondies, The Kills live are all about sexual energy in a very ‘grrrrrrrrrrr-ruhh!’ kinda way. The songs are all bit of the ‘dum-dum-dum-dudum’ variety, but they’re well laced and immensely hypnotic, despite the simple set up. As cool as we’re told it is however, without a drummer, the dynamics are unlikely to survive anything bigger than tonight’s cramped little toilet. For something like this to have mass appeal, they’ve really gotta have pop tunes. Stuff like ‘Cat Claw’ is cool, but ‘Fuck The People’ is unlikely to set Radio 1 alight. Tonight, it sounds suspiciously like ‘Fuck The D4’ which we prefer.
Absorbed in the moment though, forgetting all that, The Kills are pretty fucking good, it must be said. Successfully drawing the gaze of everyone (over the towering heap of photographers glued to the stage), you can’t be sure if the ‘up close and personal’ thang they have going on is just for show or not. If so, they have the sexual tension well choreographed. It seems to lift it all above a mere Jesus And Mary Chain cover act with PJ Harvey on the mic. Don’t believe your radio, this is sex rock.