Ladytron : London King's Cross Scala
Beep, beep, beepity beep...
Detached, cold, handsome and intriguing, the once-Liverpool-based quartet of Mira, Reuben, Danny and Helena perform their eccentric Moog-fuelled electronics with a Kraftwerkian froideur, even communicating between songs in R2-D2 bleeps and burps. In thrall to the technology and ideas of the past, their instruments are bulky and analogue - Ladytron are a cute anachronism which in its current incarnation, as the band are aware, has a finite shelf-life.
If their debut album '604' proved that 60s beat-pop vocal melodies can flow harmoniously over propulsive Giorgio Moroder grooves ('He Took Her To A Movie' and pretty new single 'Playgirl'), it was let down by a strict adherence to a sound and style first executed 20 years ago by Visage and, briefly, The Passions.
Where acts such as Adult. mutate this to their advantage, a dozen Ladytron tunes in succession, as uniformly pleasant as they are tonight, only highlight their limited appeal. Phase one of this project is complete, then; phase two, in which Ladytron create the thrilling music that fully reflects their capabilities, should be far more rewarding.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday