The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Romper Stompers. Webster Hall, New York (August 6)
Tonight their constantly evolving line-up numbers seven (including two backing singers) but at the centre of it all are singer Will Roan and guitarist Simon O’Connor. Roan is the enigmatic shaman prowling the front of stage like a pre-pipe’n’slippers Richard Ashcroft, while O’Connor bizarrely looks like a Faith No More-loving metal-head who wandered into the wrong audition by mistake. An odd pairing for sure, but they both exude the kind of charisma you could almost bottle and as ‘The Narwhal’ gradually transforms its sinister, Rolling Stones mysticism into a heaving, QOTSA throb over several epic minutes, it’s hard to know which of them to gawp at more.
Before they bow out four songs later with the space-rock freakout ‘Pump Your Brakes’, O’Connor points to the merch table and lets slip the tiniest indication the Baby are still unsigned. “We have business cards at the back,” he admits, hoping to score his band some more industry interest. But Amazing Baby should head for the nearest horde of screaming fans instead. On this form, it wouldn’t be a moment premature.
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