Live Review: The Strokes

T In The Park, Scotland, Saturday 9th July

Richard Johnson/NME
Photo: Richard Johnson/NME
Tonight doesn’t read like a moment for The Strokes’ memoirs: they’re playing second fiddle to Swedish bloody House Mafia, as well as going up against Beyoncé on the Main Stage. ‘Angles’ wasn’t quite met with a ticker-tape parade, while rumours of band fights were rife. If there ever was a chance for a surprise reclamation of former glories – or even just muting babbling rumours – this, no pun intended, is it.

Swaggering on for ‘New York City Cops’, they’re a bit stiff, but there’s no overt tension. Perhaps the biggest surprise is just how bloody happy Julian Casablancas is. He’s still wearing shades and sloping around like a sullen kid in detention, but he’s practically glowing. “Thank you, thank you! Good morning Scotland, what’s up?!” Although legions bugger off after ‘Last Nite’ thinking they’ve copped the money shot, it’s not until ‘Someday’ that The Strokes properly hit their stride. Maybe it’s the casual waltz of ‘Angles’’ closing track ‘Life Is Simple In The Moonlight’, the enormous fat dude crowdsurfing or the ease of playing a comparatively low bill, but they’re larking about like The Strokes of old.

After a storming, atonal ‘You’re So Right’, Julian jokes, “Right guys, ‘Purple Haze’ – you ready?” Instead it’s ‘Hard To Explain’. ‘Take It Or Leave It’ is signed off with Nikolai teetering on a monitor, and Julian urging, “Have fun in those tents for us.” It’s nice to be reminded that, after all the enigma and tension, ‘fun’ is something The Strokes can definitely still do.

Laura Snapes

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