November 7, 2008
The new rave warriors return to action in South America with new songs and bigger sound. TIM Festival @ Ibirapuera Arena, Sao Paulo (October 23)
It’s only been eight months, but it feels much longer. The last we saw of Klaxons they were in full chainmail garb trudging from the gigantic stage of London’s O2 Arena at NME’s Big Gig, triumphant, trashed and exhausted. That February night drew to a close a kaleidoscopic two years for the Four Horsemen. “We were brain-dead,” confesses Simon. Half a year on though – having spent the time bunkered down in London, France and Italy with producer James Ford writing new material – they’re in Brazil surrounded by home-made banners, exotic cocktails, searing early-evening heat and tropical rain hammering the shelter under which they play. Their appearance here, alongside Neon Neon, follows a couple of shows in Europe, one in Russia and now a clutch in South America.
Indeed, this evening might be low-key but Brazil is clearly ecstatic to see them. Of course, the main reason we’re nearly 6,000 miles away from where ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ was conceived is to hear new material and for our troubles we get two rockets: ‘Moonhead’ and ‘Valley Of The Calm Trees’ both exhibit new-found maturity. In other words, there’s less of the frantic scuttle of ‘The Bouncer’, more of the juggernauting prowess of ‘Golden Skans’. The former an awesome repetitive hook (a genuine reflection of, as they put it, “how much heavier we are live than on the record”) and the latter exhibiting a slightly slower, floatier direction.
We also get beefed-up versions of old favorites – time spent away from ‘Atlantis To Interzone’, ‘Magick’ and ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ only serving to re-kindle our love. It clearly means a lot for them to be here for the first time too – as their valiant attempts at Portuguese and hands held on hearts prove. As their set, and their trip, draws to a close Har Mar Superstar joins them for closers ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ and ‘Four Horsemen Of 2012’ and a hand-held firecracker goes off in the crowd (soon extinguished by an on-duty fireman). As hammy metaphors go, it’s a colourful reminder that any fireworks going off in 2009 are likely to be released by Klaxons.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday