Savage Garden: London Arena
With Darren fronting the show, it's a case of the bland leading the band...More on
Technically it's a jolly good show, honed to perfection by a year's worth of touring. The curtains open on time. The lights all work and, arranged in colourful panels above and around the stage, they look very nice. The guitars are all tuned. And the backing band (four musicians and two singers) never miss a note.
But with Darren fronting the show, it's a case of the bland leading the band. Sure, he's got that outsized ego - so big that he frequently forgets that the chap on his left, Daniel, is part of Savage Garden too. But there's precious little star quality to back it up and no amount of choreography (including what seems like a bizarre mix of Tai Chi and robotics) or fancy costumery (like a gold lame suit for the encore) can disguise the fact that Darren's a pretty ordinary guy currently enjoying extraordinary success.
Fortunately the music's pitched so loud you can barely hear the abysmal, cod poetic lyrics ("I want to live like animals", comparisons between girls and Cherry Coke) and at one point Dazza gets so emotional he can't complete a verse. It's the last night of the tour and he tells us he wants us to see inside his spirit. The ego hasn't landed - it's floating somewhere above the arena roof in lala land.
Savage Garden, then. They've got enthusiastic fans who raise that roof with their screams and applause. But they aren't a fully fertilised pop combo. They're a garden covered in manure.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday
- Previous : ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: London ULU
- Next : PJ Harvey: New York Bowery Ballroom