The Diesel xXx gigs taking place around the world simultaneously. Matter, London (October 11)

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Diesel xXx


Diesel xXx

The Diesel xXx gigs taking place around the world simultaneously – featuring more collaborations than Tom Jones’ back catalogue

and being broadcast live online – look suspiciously like glittery publicity stunts intended to shift a few threads.

To the paying fan though – unconcerned with that – it’s a series of hook-ups involving music’s top dogs, a “creative experiment” where anything could happen. An enjoyably raucous chance to smell your indie faves up-close for a fiver – sometimes hearing them make a hash of things, occasionally witnessing indie-rock brilliance smashing against the still paint-wet walls of London’s latest ‘super-club’.

“Pete’s here!” So yells’s ticker after an enjoyably colourful show from Friendly Fires and Ebony Bones. However, the ticker was timed in advance and, unless Pete’s dyed his hair ginger and now wears wedding dresses, that’s Florence And The Machine onstage, helped out by Drew McConnell and Mark Ronson, wailing Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. Thanks, Pete. Drew sticks around with The View, who rush through Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’ (Kyle can’t quite hit Cee-Lo’s notes…) and ‘Fuck Forever’ – the latter, violently executed, the highlight so far.

Lethal Bizzle teases up goosebumps as he and Drew whack out ‘Police On My Back’, but his flat version of ‘Pow! (Forward)’ belies the fact that it was once banned in clubs for inducing riots. Supergrass belt out ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ with Ed Harcourt: a tune that couldn’t go wrong even if Ronson welded horns on to it. Ronson DJs, Patrick Wolf debuts brilliant new song ‘Battle’ with These New Puritans providing ace backing bashes, and while upstairs Paris Hilton films a reality show in which morons compete to be her best friend, Plastic Little play to mashed heads in the second room, the last sober face long since twisted into a euphoric gurn.

The journey home involves taking a catamaran along the Thames, allowing time to reflect on an unexpectedly exciting event. And judging by the retching sounds coming from the catamaran’s toilets, some of 2008’s worst hangovers have arrived. It must be in the jeans.

Jamie Fullerton