“Good old London town,” smiles a typically laissez faire Julian Casablancas in full lounge lizard mode, before recalling to the sold-out Roundhouse crowd how the capital first took The Strokes to their bosom when they led the indie revolution at the turn of this century. “America had no love for us back then,” he purrs. “Only the sharp minds of the British could understand the nuances of our music.”
This last-minute show to celebrate the announcement of their long-awaited new album ‘The New Abnormal‘ does feel like something of a homecoming. It’s the party they deserve but weren’t fully allowed when they were last in town at All Points East, where they were dogged by sound issues (but still played an absolute blinder). But in high spirits and striking a fine balance between leaning on their legacy and showcasing promising new cuts with fire and compulsion, this is the most fun and vital that The Strokes have felt in 15 years. The chemistry is back, and we are here for it.
“I am having a selfishly good time,” Casablancas tells the crowd towards the show’s end. “But are you also having a good time?” Answer: ‘FUCK. YES.’ It’s never felt so good to have them back.
The Strokes played:
‘Heart in a Cage’
‘Take It or Leave It’
‘Ize of the World’
‘Hard to Explain’
‘The Adults Are Talking’
‘You Only Live Once’
Unknown new song
‘One Way Trigger’
‘What Ever Happened?’
Check out our photos from the show…
1Here’s looking at you, kid
“You never stop learning,” Casablancas told the crowd. “I feel like school was wasted on me as a child”. Well, you can’t learn pure class, can you?
2Albert Hammond Jr in the house
No one shreds like AHJ. Here’s to that riff from ‘Someday’ soundtracking your summer once again.
3The New Abnormal
Let’s take a minute to talk about how good the new stuff sounded. ‘The Adults Are Talking’ has the free and easy spirit of anything from ‘Room On Fire’ but a little wiser, ‘Bad Decisions’ landed like an instant classic, and they also aired an unknown jazzy little number that suggests ‘The New Abnormal’ could take us down some very strange lanes…
4The master of ceremonies
“I’m bad at the banter thing,” Julian tells the crowd. “I know what people wanna hear and I hate giving to them”. You could have fooled us, Jules.
Introducing their new single, Jules revealed: “This one’s inspired by your masculine physiques and gorgeous, delicate features. Sex is not important.”
6Here’s Nick and Nikolai
Quizzed by Julian about his favourite thing about British culture, bassist Nikolai Fraiture revealed that it was lager. Same.
7You dropped your plectrum
Who ever said The Strokes couldn’t do cute and wholesome?
Name a cooler band. We’ll wait.
9“Do you give a shit, Albert?”
Julian: “No one gives a shit what I say in between songs.
Albert: “I give a shit!”
Julian: “You give a shit, Albert? That’s nice…”
10“Why won’t you wear your new trench coat?”
Anyone else getting serious Bladerunner vibes?
11Bye for now
Until next time, Strokes. Come back real soon.
The Strokes release ‘The New Abnormal’ on April 10