We might be wrong, but we’re betting that ULU has seen nothing like the MySpace Bleep Bleep Tour before. A venue normally reserved for students quietly supping cheap lager, it now looks like a fluoro fruit bowl. Indie Cindies abound, their pink leggings and Tetris coloured hoodies clashing with the lumo fairylight glasses that everyone’s favourite “place for friends” is handing out along
with glowsticks by the fistful and MySpace T-shirts in vulgar pinks, oranges and limes.
Of all the garish fashion statements on show though, there’s one that greets you at every turn: a white T-shirt with a big green H! on it. Because it seems that, while everyone was looking the other way, a brand new band have eaten Britain from the inside. Crawling out of the primordial soup of the blogosphere late last year, Hadouken! (views: 649,794, friends: 33,034) celebrate only their 23rd gig tonight.
Haters still claim that their music should only be played on buses, on the MP3-phones of ASBO-bound teen try-hards. But then they are haters. In fact, Hadouken! are the only band in the world who should be legally required to add extra exclamation marks to their name. There simply isn’t enough punctuation in the world to convey how fresh, how assured, how bleeding-bloody-edge this band are becoming.
Adorned in skinny-fit jeans and his trademark yellow cap, James Hadouken! swans onstage to pandemonium. His neck bandana raised bandit-style, a handicam pointed towards the crowd, the original Hoxton hero proceeds to splice grime, hardcore, rave and whatever else he found in the £1-or-less bin of HMV into a cocksure mash that veritably owns 2007.
Through ‘Superstar’’s grimy headbang, ‘The Bounce’’s sarcastic crunch, the neon terrordome refrain of “Drink! Smoke! Fuck! Fight!” on ‘Liquid Lives’ and the epileptic bounce of ‘That Boy That Girl’, we are taught a new language… one we don’t yet fully understand. Good? Not good? That kind of question is irrelevant. Being good is often not as important as being important, and Hadouken! are undeniably pushing things w-a-a-a-y forward.
More glowstick joy from Mr Ali Love (views: 30,173, friends: 3,309). Halfway through, The K-Hole-Fearing-One produces his own enormous blue lightsaber, prompting every boy in the hall to coo, “I want one of those.” Even while leading us through his Prince-snogging-Springsteen funk-fest, he bats at the glowsticks that rain down on the stage. He might be the least-favoured of tonight’s acts, but this self-proclaimed “funkiest white boy” evidently has charm in spades and tunes to spare. With a presence so warm he can’t help but seduce.
Thoughts of seduction must be cast aside, however, as the Novelty Fun War wears on and glowsticks lock horns with tiger masks in a grim battle to the death. Pull Tiger Tail (views: 125,561, friends: 10,459) announce themselves with ‘Mr 100 Percent’: 70 per cent killer pop tune, 30 per cent ‘Mr Brightside’. Indeed, if PTT have a failing, it’s a tendency to build and build songs towards bluster, which isn’t helped by the fact lead vocalist Marcus Ratcliff has rented Panic! At The Disco’s vocal chords for the evening. Pared down though, they sound classically effortless. ‘Animator’ swirls in on a giddy pop roundabout. ‘Let’s Lightning’, the decade’s very own ‘Eye-Of-The-Indie-Tiger’, closes the set, reminding everyone why they became “addicted to electric pulses” in the first place.
Hey there, MySpace! Thanx 4 the ad(renaline)! Xx