Yes, it's serious, but that doesn't have to mean gloom, or angst, or an adrenalin by-pass...
OK, so maybe you could argue that it’s not
quite perfect. There’s no in-house
reclining leather seats. No between-set stand-up
from Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce. No Meaning Of
Life-Or-Your-Money-Back finale. In the sane world,
however, it’s hard to conceive of a bill that makes
better sense than this US pairing of Spiritualized and
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. While Jason Pierce and his
stripped-down band are still floating gloriously in
space, currently on the kind of soul-splitting form
that must render that whole “act of God” clause on their
insurance forms utterly redundant, their tough young West
Coast step-cousins are right here, down on the ground,
up to their elbows in black-gold rock’n’roll.
It probably goes without saying that BRMC aren’t satisified with
tonight’s show. They think it was “weird”, that the sound was wrong,
that somehow it just didn’t gel. The view from the audience, however, is
altogether different: peer over the heads mouthing the words and
grinning in a told-you-so fashion at newly converted friends and you see
a band on a fierce upward trajectory. Anyone who saw BRMC in the UK at
the beginning of the year will be aware of the band’s discomfort at
being forced to tour without visa-hampered drummer Nick Jago.
They were still fine shows, but seeing all three of them play together
Here, you can feel the difference, the rightness of it all. Happily,
that rightness is sure to be maintained for their imminent
British tour. Not only is there an instinctive attitude on display –
you could dress them in white linen suits and pith helmets
and they’d still look like a band – there’s
an instinctive understanding of what their music can mean.
It’s serious stuff – the low, sinful thunder of ‘White Palms’ intoned
with self-flagellating fervour by Peter Hayes, the superb vitriol of B-
side ‘Failsafe’, the looming obsession of ‘Love Burns’ – yet they’re not
afraid of the beautiful dumbness of the “one two three wooooh!” that
bassist Robert Turner uses to kickstart ‘Whatever Happened To My
Rock’n’Roll? (Punk Song)’ or the tarty, fuzz-caked bassline that
shimmies voluptuously through ‘Spread Your Love’.
Yes, it’s serious, but that doesn’t have to mean gloom, or angst, or
an adrenalin by-pass. As BRMC so thrillingly show, there’s more to the
dark than that.