The Strokes play first gig in four years at intimate London venue

Julian Casablancas and co perform secret set in Camden

The Strokes played their first gig since October 2006 tonight (June 9), performing a secret show under the alias Venison at London‘s Dingwalls venue.

They played an 18-song set featuring songs from their three studio albums, but no new material, in the Camden venue, which holds around 500 people.

The returning New York five-piece had flown into the UK capital to prepare for headline slots at the Isle Of Wight Festival on Saturday and RockNess on Sunday. They announced the London gig yesterday, with the show selling out almost instantly last night.

At 9:30pm (BST) they arrived on stage to enormous cheers and began their set with ‘New York City Cops’, one of the many songs from their 2001 debut album ‘Is This It’ they played at the show. They followed with two more songs from the album, ‘The Modern Age’ and ‘Hard To Explain’.

Frontman Julian Casablancas sported sunglasses and a studded leather jacket throughout the set, while guitarist Nick Valensi wore a garish orange jacket with a tiger design. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr had grown his hair since recently shaving it and wore a smart suit blazer.

The frontman was slight on between-song chat, although he did note the large number of people who had piled to the front for the best views. “You guys alright there?” he asked the front row, joking: “There’s a dead guy there… but it’s cool, keep going.”

Following ‘Reptilia’, taken from their second album ‘Room On Fire’, the crowd began cheering the band’s fake name Venison, prompting the singer to make an antlers sign with his hands.

They went on to play songs including ‘You Only Live Once’, from third album ‘First Impressions Of Earth’, ending the main set with 2001 hit single and fan favourite ‘Last Nite’.

They returned after a short break for a four-song encore, ending with ‘Take It Or Leave It’. Casablancas told the crowd it was “wonderful to share” the comeback with them, adding that it feels, “crazy… this is too much”.

The band, who have been working on their fourth album, now head to the Isle Of Wight for the second show of their 2010 comeback.

The Strokes played:

‘New York City Cops’
‘The Modern Age’
‘Hard To Explain’
‘What Ever Happened?’
‘You Only Live Once’
‘Vision Of Division’
‘I Can’t Win’
‘Is This It’
‘Red Light’
‘Last Nite’
‘Under Control’
‘Heart In A Cage’
‘Take It Or Leave It’

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