The Raveonettes/Dogs : Norwich Arts Centre/London Islington Academy
...trashy-glam fabulous and shockingly cool...
[a]The Raveonettes[/a] are standing stock still. They’re also producing
an awesome, growing wave of surf guitar runs, ’60s pop vocals and Mary
Chain fuzz. Right now, Denmark’s finest are stars of their own B-movie,
promising dirty cigarettes and dirty sex, broken hearts and broken rules.
The blue-green lights pick out Sharin Foo’s cheekbones and sweep
around the rangy, lean frame of her bandmate Sune Rose Wagner. They
look trashy-glam fabulous and shockingly cool. The only problem is that the
people of Norwich are also standing still. They’re gazing in
reverential awe, suitable for the converted church that is the Arts
Centre. But this congregation will not be moved.
“I thought they would clap politely and walk out in a line,”
says new bassist Anders Christensen later on. “At least a
group at the front got going towards the end.”
It’s now the second night of the tour. The gang – including support act
Dogs, Queens of Noize and NME – are in London.
We’re squashed into a tiny dressing room at the Islington Academy.
Sune and drummer Jakob Hoyer share a bottle of wine and sing
one Danish word in a loop. They become jokily embarrassed when asked
for a translation.
“It means, ‘Pussy, pussy, pussy”, says Sharin with weary
resignation, surveying the room through the mirror and applying heavy black
Next door, Dogs are trying to stay awake. They’re all suffering
from a heavy drinking session with Queens of Noize (“top
girls”). Singer Johnny is also nursing an injury after a game of
knuckles with Carl Libertine in Manchester (“He nearly
bloody broke my hand”).
You’d never guess their sorry state from their performance, though. They
transform from utterly knackered to total intensity. Summoning energy from
nowhere, they drive through their fuzzy garage punk, sweat plastering long
spiky fringes to their heads.
[a]The Raveonettes[/a], meanwhile, open with new song ‘Somewhere in
Texas’ this time, the guitar sliding lazily through the venue. Even at
the back of the venue, you can feel the true meaning of wall of sound.
‘Love In A Trashcan’, about the dangers of playing around with boys
in bands, makes the idea sound more than attractive. A cover of ‘My
Boyfriend’s Back’, by ’60s girl group The Angels, almost ventures
into disco territory and inspires bouts of hip-shimmying among a collection
of front row Sharin clones. The shimmering intro to closer
‘Twilight’ sees guitarist Manoj Ramdas striking the kind of
poses you suspect he’s been practising his whole life. Although containing a
beautifully sad duet from Sune and Sharin and first single
‘Attack of The Ghost Riders’, the encore seems superfluous. The
Raveonettes have won their audience over this time. They had us at