The Cooper Temple Clause / Raveonettes / Kasabian
So the six-headed monster of sonic experimentation crashes into the
seaside town of Portsmouth. After redefining musical boundaries with
the debut LP See This Through & Leave, the band returned this year
with their more focussed, more tuneful second effort Kick Up The Fire
& Let The Flames Break Loose, and are now being widely regarded
as this century's answer to Pink Floyd.
Danish garage/fuzz rockers the Raveonettes prove that it is possible to combine west coast pop with scathing guitars and the influence of Buddy Holly. Fronted by enigmatic ice-maiden Sharin Foo, all the band's tracks are written in either Bb major or minor, so there isn't great variation in the material, but in the end the likes of Chain Gang of Love, Veronica Fever and set-closer Beat City shine through.
It's hard to believe just how far the Cooper Temple Clause have progressed as a musical unit over the last two years. Gone are the nascent dance/rock mediocrities; say hello to the full-on epics such as New Toys, The Same Mistake and Written Apology. The latter begins as an acoustic serenade before taking a turn, in true Cooper-stylee into an extremely mental freak-out ending.
The set's littered with old favourites such as the ever-present Panzer Attack, Let's Kill Music and Did You Miss Me?, as well as a rare live outing for Amber.Bassist Didz Hammond is still the effusive star of the show, his sheer presence outshining singer Ben Gautrey's mumbled between-song musings by far. Elsewhere keyboardist Kieran Mahon and guitarist/chief knob-twiddler Tom Bellamy are the unsung heroes - providing a solid backbone for the rest of the group to elaborate on.
There's no encore, but there isn't the need, TCTC's show being complete enough without one. The band effortlessly genre-hop like no one else can, whilst still managing to retain the tunes and the verve of a straightforward rock band. The vision of Radiohead, the electronic wizardry of Kraftwerk and the noise of Nirvana, - what a mouth-watering prospect.