Razorlight : London Borderline

Their guitarist is called Bjorn Agren...

He’s here! Panic no longer, Razorlight leader Johnny Borrell is the newest androgynous sexprince on the block and from where NME’s standing it all seems to be going quite well. All the boys in the crowd are chanting “there’s only one Johnny Borrell” terrace-style, while their girlfriends are all swooning audibly as our man leers into the front row of trainee Karen Os. Sporting a black and white ‘I Hate The New Rock Revolution’ jumper (not dissimilar to Bella Freud’s ‘Ginsberg Is God’ tops of last year – well, it is London Fashion Week, after all) Borrell knows what he’s doing; dismantling every brilliant piece of UK indie from the past 20 years and shoving it all back together like an evil rock and roll jigsaw.

So single ‘Rock and Roll Lies’ sounds like The Cure trying to do something terribly uncomfortable to The Kinks, only made miles more immediate with Borrell’s frantic guitar playing and attempts to get off with the mic stand. It’s similarly impossible to deny ‘Rip It Up”s Libertines-y bounce and ‘To The Sea’ sounds like a lost classic from prime ’80s indie crooner Lloyd Cole. The highlights? ‘Don’t Go Back To Dalston’ – not only very good advice, as anyone who’s ventured into that certain part of East London late at night can tell you – but a beautifully crafted punk rock Smiths love song, and ‘In The City’ – sexy shivery gorgeous nonsense which rips off Patti Smith’s version of ‘Gloria’ something chronic. And, as if that wasn’t enough, their guitarist is called Bjorn Agren, which is possibly the best name in rock.

With our last homegrown urchin rock darling – Pete Libertine – floundering, it’s certain that Borrell and his boys will be the ones to steal his eminently British rock and roll crown. There’s only one Johnny Borrell, indeed.

Leonie Cooper