Blonde Redhead turns to pale

21/04/08_ KickandRun Crew at Shepherd Bush Empire

First of all, the venue. To enter the Shepherds Bush Empire is like going into a retro club in the one you know many people got shivers and aesthetic heart attacks. You can definitely feel it. This theater is a marvelous place with gorgeous balconies.

But as a music venue, the only issue – which can be quite annoying when you attend to a concert – is the sound. It goes poorly lost in the arcades of the building. It was even more annoying for the sonic experiments (vocal and instrumental) that Blonde Redhead is used to give to their audience…

A good bunch of friends with us and a fresh pint of industrial beer in our hands, we are more than ready to welcome the first support on the bill:  the Canadian electro-pop-punk-noise combo Holy Fuck. At first sight, I found my friend quite rude because I was behaving myself and the invective was about to burst when I finally realized this was the lovely name of the 1st band. Okay. Friendly gaze. Smile. A mouthful of beer. Let’s go!

The less that we can say is that Holy Fuck is a holy smoke of a band! What a stunning energy on stage with a pure rock’n roll attitude!  There was barely no lyrics (except shoutings) so you straight excuse the lack of communication between the band and the audience. Anyway, the music was so good that it would have been a waste of time! Come one guys, rock on!

Their sound is a very interesting mix of experimental groovy post-rock, not too intellectual- with-the-black-thick-glasses genre and much more dancefloor oriented. The crowd was already headbanging after just 30 sec. The place was electric. Honestly, Canadians do it better! A gorgeous opening that put the level on high standards. Big expectations for the second band…

 

…And then came the black hole of the night. Well, no need to comment their name: The Devastations. Ok guys so you’ve checked on the “Rock’n Roll dictionary for bands that want to have a name starting by The…” but you definitely picked up the sleaziest one! 

Fair enough, you are not supposed to be Nobel Prize for Literature and maybe your manager only understands Albanian. Fair enough.

Though, there are some things you cannot forgive. First, you should not have broken your alarm clock because you’re ten years late: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/ Jesus and Mary Chain already made their career with that sound. Too many clichés. Imitation equals limitation.

Honestly, can you consider in 2008 writing a love song with lyrics like “Stand with me” sung ad lib! Me neither so please try to consider it! 

Finally, when the acoustic is already largely improvable, don’t try to flood the audience with useless decibels that cover up the lyrics… Sounds really bad, like a “Look dude, my friends have a band and they rehearse in my garage this afternoon. Wanna have a look?” level.

After 6 songs and a cold-like-freezable-cold-fillets round of applause, they went back in their cabin to change their T-shirts for clean ones and brush their teeth to be on the cover of their favorite magazine, NME.

A second round of beer was much needed. I had to get rid of my heavy legs caused by the boredom of the previous band. Okay, a couple of random chats with my friends and I am  back on track. Just before the lights turn down on the musicians of Blonde Redhead. The beast is in! Though… To put it a nutshell, Blonde Redhead played a professional set but without the spark, the intensity and insanity that we were waiting for. So as a result, we did not really breathe the atmosphere that is in “23” (as they almost played the album). 

No need to mention that the poor quality and the sound in the venue did not really help both the band and the audience to be as one. The long-awaited first shivers finally came at their first and only encore with their latest album anthem “23” as Kazu Makino literally uplifted the people singing her complaints on a torrent of decibels. That girl is a real weapon of mass destruction, hotter than 1.000.000 playboy bunnies, can lead a crowd as easily as she would teach her dog to sweep the leg. 

At some point, she also seemed stuck in the Blonde Redhead formula and many people would share the idea that she is got something to do on her own.

Blonde Redhead was good. Holy Fuck was awesome.

 

 

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