Klaxons, Datarock and Shitdisco @ Custard Factory
As tempting as it is the thought of watching a band called Shitdisco, however ironic the name does lead to some tactical delaying before setting off to the gig.
The attempts to arrive fashionable late, are though hopelessly misguided and unfortunately means we get to watch the NME hype machine in overflow. You see, apparently the Klaxons are part of a new subdivision of music, forever to be known as ‘New Rave’ or to get a bit more post modern ‘Neu rave’. Indie boys playing art rock to a crazed bunch of fans in day glo
So while waiting to crush into the tiny Medicine bar it allows a bit of a safari, and while the predictable is expected from a Club NME tour we also get some rare sightings of kids, (and by kids I really do mean kids, the gigs meant to be 18+ but the crowd makes me feel old) adorned with the sorts of glowsticks that are a campers favourite. Whistles and homemade t-shirts make appearances proclaiming slogans such as ‘Rave Bitch’ and other creations that would probably make Super Hans weep with the dedication. There are even one or two wearing sun glasses. Inside.
So already with eyebrows slightly raised it wasn’t surprising that not long into Shitdisco’s set I really wished the entertainment was still being provided by the excellent DJ’s of Simian Mobile Disco. Shitdisco aren’t terrible, but neither are they particularly good, with a performance of party funk that could be described as scrappy at best. They play a couple of tracks that really get the already overexcited crowd going including one about ‘knowing kung fu’ but really they don’t provide or hold the attention that much. The only time I really get surprised is when they comment that “this is going to be our second single” meaning someone is responsible for funding them. Don’t expect to see Shitdisco in HMV anytime soon.
Datarock arrive in matching red tracksuits and instantly go with the look at us we’re crazeee Norweigians vibe. One member is also guilty of wearing sunglasses inside, but maybe it’s just he can’t hack all the glowsticks being waved about. Playing a fairly laid back form of electro rock, they manage to be better than Shitdisco but destroy any good feeling I have towards them at the end. More on this in a bit. Datarock are capable of playing quite dark and moody electronic rock songs, dipping into New Order and LCD Soundsystem territory (and I really do only mean dipping). They also have the ability to play atrocious songs and attempt to be eye catching in a wacky kind of way that grates. For this I cite ‘I Used to Dance With My Daddy’. To make matters worse they inform us at the end of the set they plan to have a dance with us and to do this they put on ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ from Dirty Dancing. While the kids out past bed time lap it up, the rest look around definitely confused and probably just a tiny bit embarrassed about what’s just happened.
Finally the Klaxons arrive, spearheading the ‘New Rave’ movement with their disco punk that’s got as much in common with rave as Paris Hilton does to musical ability. It does make you worry what people will swallow when it’s packaged up to them and designed to be cool, however Datarock seem to have just suggested it’s pretty much anything. The Klaxons to their credit are very good at what they do and whip the crowd up into frenzy with bass driven songs that try to pull your feet into movement. It’s perhaps hard to judge on the basis of a very short set but while songs like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Hall of Records’ sound superb, Magick seems overly long. Also rather uncomfortably the real floor filler is a cover of Grace’s 1995 dance hit ‘Not Over Yet’. If you forget the rave tag the Klaxons are a decent band and well worth seeing live. Whether it can be translated on to an album remains a mystery.