Japan Osaka Club Quattro

There's the ember of a sympathetic following in this pop...

There is a sudden rush forward to the barriers. The audience wave their arms frantically above their heads as they clamber over each other’s twisting bodies. The Animalhouse are onstage. Sam Williams smiles freely and flash bulbs pop. The photographs taken, everyone calms down, moves back into empty spaces and prepares to bob their heads to another indie tune.

That’s not to say that The Animalhouse don’t stir up interest here tonight. It’s just that, well, Japan and cameras y’know. Though not quite as enthusiastic, the reactions to one or two addictive melodies, a few old Ride harmonies and some timely squeaks from the keyboards of Jason King are justifiably spirited. Their particular energetic pop melange of electronics and guitar is epitomised by a sparkling version of ‘Ready To Receive’. ‘Animal’, however, arrives with its distinctive ‘Psycho’ knife-strike as a snarling, angular number. If they had three more of these to offer, they’d be a much more appealing live act.

Unfortunately, in a set that lasts just one hour, the flat matter provides a dampening counterbalance. So, you could say that this animal house isn’t yet fully built. Nevertheless, they’ve already got a club theme song. Had they and not Williams’ studio mates, Supergrass, been offered a Monkees-style TV spot then ‘Animal House’ would be heard over the credits every week.

“I hope you stay here… for a while,” they say. Well okay, if the membership fee falls after the release of album No. 2 then. Yeah, it’s a rung down from Ride’s swirly heights for Messrs Gardener and Colbert. They didn’t take any photos. Colbert didn’t get out of his tracksuit pants. Perhaps, though, there’s the ember of a sympathetic following in this pop that such endearing photo sessions, and maybe a summer hit or two, can fan.

Bryan Scruby