Live at Leeds Town Hall on Wednesday, 5th November 2003
So then ladies and gents lets go back a couple of years when Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Strokes and the White Stripes were unleashed on us surrounded by a haze of media frenzy and unadulterated cool.
These bands shipped from the States spearheaded a change in music which reverberates to this day and represent the triumph of quotes over notes, not wearing in every song and most distinctively offering a more stripped down sound that attracted initial hipster cool followed by crossover success. These bands also relieved us of what had come to be known as 'Nu-Metal', for which we should be eternally grateful. During this point in the heady days of 2001 the Darkness were probably sweating it out in leotards in pubs across outer London.
So 2003 has brought us not-quite-as-good-as-the-last-one but still pretty cool follow-up albums by the aforementioned class of 2001. While the Darkness are the biggest rock band in the country with hopes of a Christmas number one entitled '(Christmas Time) Don't Let The Bells End' along with a support slot with Meatloaf. Is it all a joke? Well B.R.M.C are as-ever almost certainly not amused, they'd probably- unplug their amps drag them by the hair and lock them away in their cupboards given half-a-chance.
A sold out Town Hall builds with anticipation as the fireworks explode outside. A quick look at the crowd reveals that B.R.M.C are a band that attracts only the ugliest cross-section of the population. The support proves to be a disappointment tonight. The first band choose not to reveal who they are and offer the most nondescript lightweight indie tunes that give other bands a bad name.
Next are the Brian Jonestown Massacre who were formed thirteen years ago. They begin the set by taking pictures of themselves in front of the audience "For my Mum". They are a band who seem indebted to their heroes, look like they still want to be in the sixth form and sound like a diluted attempt at re-creating Psychedelia and prime-era Shoegaze such as Ride.
The front man whom displays about as charisma as William Hague even tries a bit of bravado by having a go at a member of the audience. If they can't make an impression on an audience after 8 albums then surely they never will. Kids this really is what happens if you don't eat your greens.
B.R.M.C arrive on the stage in trademark black leather jackets and tear into future single 'Six Barrel Shotgun', opening a blistering set with considerable valour and gusto, they seem pleased to be playing tonight in front of a packed crowd. A number of songs including the impressive comeback single 'Stop' a long with a number of favourites 'Love Burns', 'Whatever Happened To My Rock N' Roll' and 'Spread Your Love' are played.
Their live sound is distorted yet refined, rough and ready and considering they hail from San Francisco it hits home that they sound remarkably like a British band. The quality of their music on their debut meant that they are were largely able to shrug-off their influences (Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and the Stooges) and were rightly championed as amongst the most promising of new bands. Their latest album 'Take Them All On, On Your Own' has seen them largely shed-off previous comparisons although in my opinion the standard isn't generally as high. The set disappointingly is cut-short after six songs as the fire alarm goes off and everyone has to leave the venue.
Personally I head to a pub after a short while and it later transpires that the gig was infamously postponed due to concerns that the floor was going to cave-in. One can only guess what the rest of the set would have been like although it's interesting that they played most of their most famous songs early in the set. Are the Rebel's our saviours? The jury is out until their next visit to Leeds.