Thrills, The : London ULU


There’s a reason to worry about The Thrills; Bono’s a big fan. The poor bastards. Though they sound nothing like sanctimonious one, unless an Irish accent’s reason enough for you. In fact, entering to Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ is their only moment of rock pomposity.

Visually The Thrills are a tasty pick’n’mix of the last 12 months music; guitarist Daniel, (whose guitar is so high up his torso it’s as good as in his mouth) resplendent in his granddad’s cardie, could be in The Music. Singer and harmonica generator Conor could be confused for a Star Spangle and bassist Padraic obviously wants a piece of Drew Barrymore’s ass as he’s trying his darndest to be an Irish Fabrizio Morretti. The drummer’s more ABBA than anything else. Odd.

The Dubliners American obsession is almost complete; that they’re not wearing Stetsons is obviously a huge oversight. Recent single ‘Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far)’ is one of the many name-dropping numbers that pepper the set tonight. Sunny, frothy and impressively jingle-some, it builds to a climax which manages the impossible task of matching the comforting smooth splendour of the record while being engagingly rough around the edges.

They stumble with ‘Your Love Is Like Las Vegas’, which unfurls a canvas lacking Vegas sleaze but bountiful in good vibes. ‘Big Sur”s (whisper it) cute harmonies bring it back on while ‘One Horse Town’ imbues the current single with a horse trough of added soul.

As fierce proponents of scenic landscape indie they inevitably veer into Mercury Rev, even Dylan, territory lending them a curious timeless quality: You don’t need ULU. You need a car, a road, lots of good beer and your childhood sweetheart to really enjoy The Thrills. Tonight, they’re filled with a happy-go-lucky Brady Bunch bounce; a clean cut 1970s jingle at glorious odds to all the dirty 70s rock at the moment. Rejoice.

Leonie Cooper