Rapture : Brighton Concorde 2

What a pleasurable feeling it is to imagine how the next album will sound...

What took them so long? Last summer, [a]Rapture[/a]’s first UK shows were edgy affairs. The band, shocked by the initial attention overload, played it cool and waited for the hype to simmer down. Back then, too, it seemed as if The DFA’s disco injection had given [a]Rapture[/a] a sense of security, a set of stabilisers to be discarded once they were confident enough to make this sound their own. Tonight they convince on every level; right now [a]Rapture[/a] are the coolest band in the world, possessed of that desirable x-factor comprising looks, songs, attitude, ambition, potential and ability.

With so many average rock bands being rewarded today for slavishly adhering to a knackered idea of what a rock band should be, it’s thrilling to see [a]Rapture[/a] do something as obvious, as ‘modern’ as mess around with machines onstage to further enhance their swaggering euphoric nihilism. When Gabe Andruzzi and Vito Roccoforte mutate preset acid squiggles and rigid 909 beats for Luke Jenner to howl over on ‘Olio’, you’re reminded of New Order and the Happy Mondays, of groups who sucked in influences from everywhere to spew out something fresh but familiar.

What’s more, each rich [a]Rapture[/a] song has blossomed into something strange and seductive, as if, live, they’ve located and channelled that soul and groove which their debut album ‘Echoes’ lacks. It’s a joy to witness tracks as dramatic and sexy and funky as ‘Sister Saviour’ and ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ being performed with such enthusiasm by four smiling New York dudes because you know as well as they do that the band, as artists, are capable of producing even more astounding music as they develop. What a pleasurable feeling it is to imagine how the next album will sound.

As it is, here, nearing midnight in Brighton, [a]Rapture[/a] are joined for a messy finale by support acts The Boggs and Fat Truckers in a rousing rendition of The Glitter Band’s ‘Rock & Roll’. And you think, while all this is going on, rock isn’t a competition as such, it’s just that some bands, like [a]Rapture[/a], are much, much better than others.

Piers Martin