London W1 Embassy Rooms

Their debut album is called [B]'Don't Be Daft'[/B], but it presents a manifesto that they're all too ready to ignore...

Madness. They call it madness. And on the whole, they say it’s a most unappealing prospect.

Right on cue, meet the [a]Space Raiders[/a] – one of Skint’s more whimsical signings. Their debut album is called ‘Don’t Be Daft’, but it presents a manifesto that they’re all too ready to ignore.

It’s all here tonight, you see. There’s ludicrous Townshend-esque air guitar. There’s a grown man sporting a Mighty Mouse T-shirt. And there’s a lightsabre solo. You don’t have to be mad to be in the [a]Space Raiders[/a]. You have to be absolutely bonkers.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it? But with ammunition like this, it’s almost a shame to report that the Space Raiders are actually rather good. ‘Cutter’s Choice’ is the pick – replete with strains of Gorgonzola-thick organ, it sounds like Bentley Rhythm Ace dismembering Propellerheads, and the sort of thing Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman might like.

‘Monster Munch’ provides a dramatic finale of sorts. Loping in on a riff sampled from The Sweet‘s ‘Teenage Rampage’, it’s rammed with enough idle nostalgia to drive Luke Haines apoplectic. But it moves one Raider enough to beat his chest like King Kong, and that’s a reaction Placebo‘s tepid revival of ’20th Century Boy’ never invited.

They say that all clowns are crying inside. For once, here’s some clowns with something worth laughing about.

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