The ex-Smith proves his greatness on a spiky live album
Les Incompetents: 100 Club, London, Tuesday November 7
A bloody, sweaty mess was a fitting end to London’s infamous rag-tag rabble
They were hardly going to be the next Coldplay, yet, in a strange twist of fate, the past few months have seen the band attract more than their fair share of attention. First there was singer/guitarist Billy Bell’s fight on a night bus, which put him into a life-threatening coma, or as fellow Les Inc frontman Fred Les charmingly puts it halfway though the gig, “Billy was dead for three weeks this summer.” Then there’s Fred’s missus, crown princess of the red tops, Ms Peaches Geldof, whose gossip column dominance has led to Fred becoming a celeb in his own right, his bespectacled eyes often looming out of the front page of the News Of The Screws as his ladyfriend drags him to various star-studded parties.
The Geldof family are in fact, in attendance tonight, with Sir Bob hanging at the back, while his selected offspring bounce about in the sticky moshpit to the free-form skiffle stylings emanating from the PA. Even during their last hurrah, the band are still not quite sure what on Earth’s going on. “I didn’t even know we were playing that one,” says Fred scratching his head after a raucous run through of ‘Costa Rica’. ‘How It All Went Wrong’ though, goes right, a perfect slice of boozed-up crash bang pop that sees half of the crowd leaping onto the stage to grab a piece of the insane action. A rattling cover of The White Stripes’ ‘Hotel Yorba’ and a shimmy though the TV theme tune of The Poddington Peas proves they’re not a band who have ever taken their music too seriously. If all death knells sounded like this, the world would most certainly be a cheerier place. RIP Les Incompetents.
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