The Sleepy Jackson/Snow Patrol/The Futureheads/Kid Symphony : London Astoria

...the pulsing lifeblood of rock’n’roll itself...

BRATS SPAT SPLATS SQUAWKIN’ HAWKINS! SCHLOCK ROCK COCKS’ SHOCK SNUB BY MAD MAG SLAGS! So wrote the tabloid tattle twats while pissed up on our NME awards booze, once again gak-blinded to The Point. [a]The Darkness[/a] won no gongs because you – the discerning, informed and ice cold ‘kids’ – recognise that rock is a ravenous shark that must move forward or die and the day NME gives a Best Band award to a glorified comedy covers act is the day we give up on rock as a creative force and turn to wild Geordie wrestling for kicks.

So the critical Uzis are trained on [a]Kid Symphony[/a] – touting Whitesnake’s ‘licks’, [a]Queen[/a] pop pomp and the kind of sparkly skinny ties last seen tempting you to garotte [a]Nik Kershaw[/a], they’re the world’s first (gulp!) post-[a]The Darkness[/a] band. Luckily, ‘New York City’ and ‘Hands On The Money’ are stylish homage rather than painful pastiche, so they gain a last-second reprieve and are declared saviors, not scavengers. As are [a]The Futureheads[/a], still dancing like their own elastic legs are trying to trip them up and still singingreallyfastXTCishstoppystartysongslikethey’re… tryingtododgeanyonelikingthematallbut… YOUSORTOF! … CAN’THELPIT!

According to NME’s tenuous weather gag department, [a]Snow Patrol[/a] are on thin ice, plagiarism-wise. ‘Run’ may be a cracking tune but, having been cloned from the droppings of [a]Coldplay[/a] ‘Yellow’, it can only ever be a mirror to magnificence. Still, the crowd greet ‘Run’ and all its Ambitious Indie bedfellows with the same air-punching ardour they’d probably greet a Vauxhall Astra advert featuring [a]Dido[/a] and then fuck off, presumably thinking a [a]The Sleepy Jackson[/a] is Michael after too much Jesus Juice.

Mind you, even the band themselves can’t know what [a]The Sleepy Jackson[/a] are: post-grunge paranoia pioneers, twanglers, performance art twonks or the voodoo mind slaves of a vampire Beetlejuice. Glorious confusion abounds: ‘Vampire Racecourse’ and ‘Good Dancers’ become [a]Sonic Youth[/a] grindcore thrillers, ‘Rain Falls For Wind’ lurches out as an undead [a]Flaming Lips[/a] and there’s a rather disconcerting interlude where Luke Steele appears wearing a red spotlight and a neon breastplate and barks “I’M A DOG! WOOF WOOF!” into a vocoder while his guitarists shave each others heads and what remains of the audience turn nasty. All of which is, of course, the pulsing lifeblood of rock’n’roll itself. Give that god-fearing weirdo a Godlike Genius.

Mark Beaumont