January 27, 2002
NME Carling Tour - Andrew WK, Lostprophets, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Coral : Dublin Amba
Let's get the party started...
OK let's get this straight - New Yorker Andrew WK doesn't write songs. Songs are what dullards fiddle with in the security of their bedrooms when they should be out meeting girls. Andrew WK assembles with minute detail highly-tooled efficient shiny anthems - each fully armed with all the subtlety of a Chieftain tank. He doesn't play these creations - they maraud across the musical landscape crushing dissenters beneath their metal riffage. Resistance is useless. Get out of the way - 'Party Hard' is going to crush you.
He's moved on from his London Garage show last October, where the tiny stage reined him in - like squeezing a blue whale into a fishtank. On this stage he's got all the room he needs to scissorkick, leap and crash onto his knees with wince-inducing regularity.
Rewind to 7.30pm and Coral 's scallydelica dominates the auditorium. This motley band of mates have emerged fully formed with influences so at odds with current music scenes it's as if they've been force-fed records from another planet. Spotting references is fun but almost pointless, a bit of a La's B-side here, a smattering of 60s garage there - each three-minute song seems to have crammed a whole album of ideas in yet they hang together perfectly.
The second song in the set, 'Badman', spawns the first outbreak of moshing and by the time 'Shadows Fall' swaggers into view it's clear we've witnessed the most original and offbeam band to emerge in the UK for a decade. What's more they've got more attitude than a planeload of Gallagher brothers and play with the fiery intensity of the Sex Pistols. And they've got tunes to spare.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club hail from the US West Coast and this is the first time they've played outside America. But though they come from sunny climbs they possess the black vibes of a band baptised at the altar of My Bloody Valentine and, of course, The Jesus And Mary Chain. Ex-Verve drummer Pete Salisbury does admirably as stand-in but upsets the smooth unity of style that normally makes them look so fucking great. Grinding midnight riffs and black leather chic mark them as retro but when tunes like 'Love Burns' are this good, who cares? The simmering doom of the band singlehandedly rejuvinates a sound long thought passe.
For much of the audience Lostprophets are the reason they've forked out the admission price.
They've taken the rap-metal gauntlet thrown down by Limp Bizkit and spiced it up with a nod to Fugazi here and a vocal borrowing from Faith No More there. They leap and bellow and scream as though their existence depends on it. Offspring? Blink-182? Linkin Park? All seem strangely old and tired in comparison. And they have one other thing. They're fucking cool. Quite how a band from a shithole in Wales came to be this good is a mystery that rock scientists should already be considering. Judging by tonight's performance - if you don't know it already - they're going to be massive. Certainly in the UK - but the US needs to get ready because they're about to be beaten at the game they invented.
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