London W1 Improv Theatre

You realise you can take the boy out of the dodgy, populist [B]TOTP[/B] dance/rock combo, but you can't...well, you can't hear yourself think, actually...

It’s a short step from ‘Unbelievable’ to unconvincing. For all his [a]Norman Cook[/a]-style due-paying credentials, ex-EMF singer and Bentley Rhythm Ace bassist James Atkin‘s new group Cooler can come on a little too hysterical at times.

While drums hiss and crack, and James‘ bass gives out throbbing Chic-isms, singer Anna Haigh has a tantrum at the mic, going, [I]”Wow-woo-hoo!”[/I] as if that’s enough to inspire a sing-along. As James grins, you realise you can take the boy out of the dodgy, populist TOTP dance/rock combo, but you can’t…well, you can’t hear yourself think, actually, because a massive wave of feedback and frenetic beats has just smothered the audience.

Cooler seem intent on making Fatboy Slim sound like Yes, as each tune comes crashing in on beats that aren’t big so much as bloated, and climax barely four minutes later with white noise and Theremin shrieks. New single ‘Supersod’ is a belch of Glitter Band drums and expletives, as simple and Neanderthal as the glam rock it so obviously apes.

James might be older. But wiser he certainly isn’t.