From hip-hop to Bollywood soundtracks...
They’ve come a long way, baby. From shambly noise to remixes by Fatboy
Slim, from revolutionary manifestos to collaborations with Noel Gallagher, the past ten years have seen Cornershop mutate from a small family business into a prosperous concern with its eyes on new markets. From near-incompetence to number one.
Except, in some ways, things haven’t really changed at all. Cornershop may now boast some of the more obvious signs of success – a funky slide show, a guitarist who can actually play – but part of their charm is that they still seem slightly at odds with the whole business of rock’n’roll. They enter one by one to a Bowiesque stomp, before Tjinder Singh emerges, is caught in the spotlight and looks, frankly, completely petrified.
What follows, however, is a consummate display of how Cornershop make their wildly disparate influences – from hip-hop to Bollywood soundtracks – sitting together to comprise one brilliantly seamless whole.
As Ben moves from guitar to sitar, they begin in earnest with the excellent ten-minute drone rock of ‘6AM Jullander Shere’, musically a mile or so away from ‘Brimful Of Asha’ but which Cornershop make look no distance at all.
Having pruned their set list to a greatest hits show, the band continue through the likes of ‘Sleep On The Left Side’, ‘Lessons Learned From Rocky I-III’, and their cover of The Beatles‘
‘Norwegian Wood’, by which time even Tjinder’s beginning to look a little less terrified: as the band ready themselves for ‘Brimful Of Asha’, he even thanks us for coming. Or at least that’s what he might be saying, it’s just that he seems too uncomfortable to actually speak into a microphone. It’s a fitting
kind of conclusion really – there may have been hitches along the way, but Cornershop‘s message gets through just the same.