Sunday, July 13, 2003
Hotter than July, that's the Kings of Leon right now. Stealthily upsetting the best-laid plans of festival promoters all over, the family Followill have mid-afternoon minor stage slots allotted while their debut album Youth and young manhood heads for the sharp end of the charts. These guys are bound to arouse a bit of suspicion having seemingly risen without trace, skipping out tiresome traditions like Ye Paying of Ye Dues and vaulting straight to the top. Almost coincidently, they happen to be pretty damned good, peddling a lean and limber brand of southern-fried Garage rock. Imagine The Strokes' rhythm section joining the Black Crowes for a shot at Iggy Pop's Lust for life.
posted by SMc at 9:34 AM
At Friday's sold-out show at the Astoria (cap.2000) they sounded great, playing the album in full, no more no less; no frills, no chat, mucho moshing. Consider brother Jared (bass): you're just turned 17, in your first band and there's hoardes out there going ape. But you're not Busted, you're cool as hell. Seemingly yet to darken the barber's door, through his hippy thicket Jared's cocksure pouting delight was unmistakable and totally understandable: 'Does life get any sweeter...?'
'All songs by Nathan Followill, Caleb Followill, Angelo.' Sceptical types looking for the hand of others in the KoL's instant success may wonder just who this 'Angelo', prominently credited in the sleevenotes, is. Seems it's one Angelo Petraglia, a Nashville gun-for-hire...
Another indie comet passes over London town in August, the 12th to be precise when Toronto's Broken Social Scene stop by the Barfly. Altogether more eclectic and complex (and therefore less commercial?) a proposition than KoL, just how many members of this fluid, hydra-headed combo will be making the trip is anyone's guess. But if their show is only half as enjoyable as You forgot it in people this blog won't be complaining...
Some of the songs on Sufjan [pr.Soof-yon] Stevens' terrific album Greetings from Michigan (reviewed below) sound like they'd comfortably withstand the full orchestra & chorus treatment at the Royal Albert Hall. On Tuesday though it was just the man and his guitar in the shoebox that is the 12Bar club. An engagingly bashful performer, after each song of his short set Stevens would instinctively join in the applause, a bit like a performing seal; a reflex action helping dissipate self-conciousness, maybe? [OK, that's enough psycho-analysis.] For this listener at least the emotional core of the set (as on Michigan) was Romulus with Stevens, revisiting a moment of uncomfortable self-awareness, uttering quietly the line 'I was ashamed of her' as if in the confessional. Personal, singular stories and beautiful, luminous tunes - just a joy, really. For the record, the set was:
Opie's funeral party
The one I love (fine brittle cover)
The upper peninsula
Lakes of Canada
Greetings from Michigan is certainly an '03 contender; last year's favourite meanwhile is still being discovered. Rilo Kiley's The execution of all things gets to share (with UK Rough Trade tyros British Sea Power) a whole page of the July issue of Word magazine, the latest child of the folks who brought us Q and then Mojo. 'A quietly great band...dazzling displays of melodic and lyrical invention...what-the-hell-was-that brilliance', etc, etc. Ye gods, Jenny, you'll surely have to come over now...?!