The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Turner, Polar Bear Club
02 Shepherds Bush Empire, London, Sunday February 8
As partisan as The Gaslight Anthem’s crowd is (confirmed by the rousing cheer that greets the opening notes of ‘Great Expectations’)
you can’t help but think they’ve taken their collective foot off the, er, petroleum. Whereas back in August at ULU the ‘Sink Or Swim’ material went down best, now it’s a minority who get excited – albeit gushingly so – about ‘I’da Called You Woody, Joe’ (complete with
the same intro snatch of ‘Stand By Me’ from six months ago) while ‘Old White Lincoln’ and ‘The Backseat’ are welcomed like old friends despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of any new material. It’s impossible to deny the twinkling gorgeousness of ‘Miles Davis & The Cool’ and ‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’, and if you’re in the mood for a beer-sodden night with three of your best mates, Gaslight are the greatest band on the planet. But the sound that’s ringing in our ears as we step out into the drizzle is that of laurels being firmly rested on.
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