Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Brixton Academy - 12th November 2008

The Black Keys

Just how much of a racket can two men and two instruments really make?

Armed only with a guitar, drum kit and their bluesy rock n’ roll numbers, The Black Keys transform the bustling insides of London’s Brixton Academy to a dusty bar at dawn time, complete with rising sun and die-hard revellers who refuse to stop the party.

With five albums and seven years notched up, the Ohio duo are un-phased by tonight’s sold out show as they banish the theatrics and lift the lid on their organic stripped-back sound.

Set You Free, from 2003’s Thick Freakness, and Rubber Factory’s Girl Is On My Mind sees the ‘Keys steam maturely past current and youthful favourites the Followills by a few generations, evoking the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, with their own take on southern rock, which is more retro than the reminiscent recreations of their contemporaries.

Strange Times, another raucous stomping affair, is driven keenly and ferociously by drummer Patrick Carney, while singer and guitarist Dan Auerbach projects coarse yet rich vocals with equal vigour, and thus setting the focus of tonight’s show-the band’s recent album, Attack and Release.

There’s little in the way of banter or crowd interaction, but it’s all there in the music, at times it even appears that the 4000 strong audience are mere observers to a jam session between the pair, but a polished and tight jam session at that.

In a thunderous lengthy wind down with Psychotic Girl and I Got Mine, the revelry winds up as the gig ends, the ‘Keys depart and dawn retreats back to night time, leaving many wanting more.