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

The Strokes
Louisiana, Bristol

Despite having only having been in the public eye for a month, there’s no doubting that the Strokes could have easily filled a venue twice the size of the Louisiana. In the new rock friendly musical climate, they are perhaps the first true post At The Drive-In band, where the music is no longer considered enough, where people have finally woken up the fact that they’re supposed to be entertaining us, that no matter how sharp you sound, you are duty bound to look even sharper. In fact, while half the country is still struggling to come to terms with the last big thing, the next one is already here.

While American rock is gradually winning its fight against the manufactured bands in the charts, the Strokes look and sound as if they have just stepped out of the Factory, styled by Andy Warhol and steeped in the glamour of late 70’s New York art-rock. Within the space of just one song, they’ve rejected 20 years worth of music, caught up in a sound that originated in CBGBs and was epitomised by the likes of Television and the Modern Lovers, Devo and the Dead Boys.

Not only that, the Strokes look the part as well. Julian Casablancas curls himself around the mike, equal parts David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Bassist Nikolai Fraiture contents himself with modelling the perfect bob, calmly watching as Albert Hammond Jr., looking like Abel Ferrera in ‘Driller Killer’, delivers staccato bursts of guitar while jerking around the stage as if he’s been licking batteries. For all the retrograde influences, you can’t knock their style, their passion, or their brilliance. The Strokes are the sound of the Richard Hell’s blank generation coming of a modern age, and you’d be a fool not to celebrate that.