Thrills/22-20s/Razorlight/HAL : London Brixton Academy

...soft Irish bread around bloodily meaty rock ‘n’ roll...

Tonight’s bill is kind of a sandwich – soft Irish bread around bloodily meaty rock ‘n’ roll. The first slice is supplied by HAL, who already have more great songs than the rest of the bill put together. ‘Play The Hits’ and ‘Worry About The Wind’ sound as though they’ve been whirling around fully-formed in eternity, just waiting for the right band to beam them down.

[I]Better or worse than Dylan?[/I] Worse, but he’d be impressed.

In honour of his legendary [I]NME[/I] interview the other week, Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell seems to be wearing a Bob Dylan T-shirt over his skinny frame. Razorlight’s is an energetic, striking and stylish show, albeit one with the depth of a piece of tin foil. ‘Golden Touch’ immortalises Mairead of Queens Of Noie notoriety. [I]”It’s their ‘Just Like A Woman’,” [/I]swoons one bystander. ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, more like.

[I]Better or worse than Dylan?[/I] If Dylan’s making the chips, Johnny’s peeling the spuds.

The 22-20’s commence their set with a song so lumpen it’s surprising it makes it off the stage. Like The White Stripes, they play the blues but it’s difficult to see what else they’re bringing to the party other than sulky, black leather-clad, teenage attitood.

[I]Better or worse than Dylan?[/I] Better than The Dylans.

Someone has obviously told The Thrills to be more aggressive, which translates as frontman Conor Deasy saying [I]”fuck”[/I] every other sentence. Otherwise, all is sunkissed serenity – one new song is even called ‘I Found My Rosebud’. Sometimes, The Thrills’ prettiness makes you long for OutKast: [I]”What’s warmer than cool? Lukewarm!”[/I] Yet there’ll always be a place in pop for dreamers, and The Thrills’ dream isn’t over yet.

[I]Better or worse than Dylan?[/I] Better than ‘Knocked Out Loaded’, worse than ‘Blonde On Blonde’.

Alex Needham