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

Querelle, PsychoSun
The Metro, London

We all know what an Italian is supposed to look like. Elegant, sharply dressed, with an effortless touch of style. Basically, they’re so much fucking fitter and better dressed than the rest of us, especially if we happen to be sartorially challenged and British, an all too common combination.

At least that’s what I thought up until the moment that PsychoSun rolled on stage. Where do spiky moustaches, shit hair or crap shirts stretched over rotund stomachs come into the equation? What the fuck is going on? I must be seeing things.

In that case, I must be hearing things as well. They probably think they’re playing drop-dead cool garage rock. I imagine they lay awake at night wishing they were Jon Spencer or Judah Bauer. Unfortunately all those sleepless nights appears to have affected their ability to write songs. This sounds far too much like the early 90’s retro-punk shit that spawned Britpop. We don’t need to go through that again. Please make them stop. I don’t want to have nightmares. I need order in my life. I need my national stereotypes to be reconfirmed; else I fear I shall go mad.

I need to see Querelle. They’re the complete antithesis of PsychoSun. They’re the epitome of what I wanted an Italian band to be. They’re a male singer, and a couple of girls on bass and drums. They’re stunning. Their clothes are perfect. I’m staring at them, transfixed, lost in my lust. The entire crowd is. You could cut the sexual tension in the room with a knife.

And then they start to play. I’d heard them compared to Sonic Youth and the Lapse, but I’d never actually heard them. My expectations were high. And somehow Querelle manage to exceed them. They do sound like the Lapse and Sonic Youth, and the Blonde Redhead as well. They sound like three of my favourite bands, but without being derivative. I’m thinking that maybe they’re perfect. In my head I’m already stalking them.

It’s all my friend can do to stop herself from gawping at the singer. His hair is shagging in his eyes, and his guitar is smashing against his skinny hips as he violently wrenches feedback from the tortured instrument. The bassist has got that nonchalant, impassive, ‘I’m only a smile away from being beautiful’ look. The only reason I’m not staring at her is that I’ve just fallen in love with the drummer. She’s screaming at her drums, writhing around as if she’s climaxing behind her kit.

As the aching guitar and thundering drums crash into a cacophonous finale, I realist that I never want to be without Querelle again. I want to rush out and buy their records. The only problem is that they haven’t even made any yet.