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It's gotta be a culture shock. [a]Sahara Hotnights[/a] have sold 40,000 records in their native Sweden. Tonight, they're pushed to the front of the Joiners stage by the headline band's equipment, but

It's gotta be a culture shock. Sahara Hotnights have sold 40,000 records in their native Sweden. Tonight, they're pushed to the front of the Joiners stage by the headline band's equipment, but they still look like stars. In fact, the small venue suits them perfectly. Squashed together and playing with something to prove, they take on a girl-gang aura which suggests they could kick The Donnas' arses and eat Angelica for breakfast.



Swedish bands often seem to operate on some kind of time delay. The likes of Backyard Babies and The Hellacopters sound as if the newest record they've heard is 'Appetite For Destruction'. Sahara Hotnights have managed to catch up by approximately seven years. They've discovered Britpop.



The Salad revival might seem unlikely, but this is a feistier take on the sound of Camden '94. Sahara Hotnights don't evoke the Kinks or Smiths influences which became so ubiquitous, preferring to deploy punk basslines and sleaze-drenched rock riffs. What really stands out, though, is Maria Andersson's voice. On 'Oh Darling' and new single 'Drive Dead Slow', she sounds uncannily like Siouxsie Sioux, lending a strident sense of drama to proceedings.



They may be facing down a half-full venue of, at best, mildly curious punters, but in their hearts Sahara Hotnights are ripping the Top Of The Pops studio apart. If the day ever comes when the charts are once again full of indie, then Sahara Hotnights could be the cool rulers they deserve to be.

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