Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

McLusky, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Highbury Garage, London

We’ve all done it. You spend months going on about how good a band is. You drag all your mates to see them, and then they’re shit. Last time I saw these two bands they were terrible. I was embarrassed. My friends never wanted to see them again. Fuck, I was lucky that my friends were even willing to speak to me again.

First off were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Last week’s New York kids supreme, and when I first saw them, they were fucking appalling. They were little more than an art-school strop, all ripped tights, temper tantrums and electro-shock hair, knackered sound and a bad Altered Images impression. In short, they were so bad there was no conceivable reason that they could ever have had any good press. Thank fuck that this time is different.

They still sound like Altered Images, but now they’re Altered Images having a fight with Mazzy Star in a seedy punk club. No, really. I’m not making this shit up. OK, so maybe there’s a touch of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion swagger as well, but that’s your lot. However, as Karen O howls her way through the primal scream therapy of ‘Art Star’, it’s clear that second time around, they really are worthy of the hype. Still not sure why Karen O is being hailed as such a sex symbol though; I’ve shat more attractive foreign objects.

And from the tortured look on McLusky bassist Jon Chapple’s face, I wouldn’t like to say that he isn’t excreting something large and painful right now. But no, that’s just the everyday strain of being in McLusky that’s doing that. You give so much that sometimes it’s going to hurt. Other times, it might snap completely, and they could be left sounding like a shambolic mess of fluffed songs, retching and misguided anti-London diatribe. At least that’s what happened last time. And it went out live on xfm. So it’s just as well that this time they’re back on form. They’re tight and taut, and when ‘Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues’ drops, it sounds like an explosion onstage. It’s messy. The crowd is still reeling when Falko takes a cheese-grater to his vocal chords for ‘Collagen Rock’. Right now, McLusky really are the fucking bomb, and as they put it so succinctly themselves, the world loves them and is their bitch.