Klaxons: More Rock Than Dance
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 17, 2007 4:25PM
The kid with the glow stick in front of the stage valiantly waved it over his head, until four songs into the sold out Klaxons show at Schubas last night he realized that the band onstage wasn't actually "new rave" at all. Part of the problem with Yanks getting caught up in British music press hype is that NME loves simple labels, and those labels often have almost nothing to do with the actual band. We suppose Klaxons deserve a portion of the blame since their initial EPs were heavy on the remixes, but how could anyone who heard their A-sides have really thought the group was anything more than a punk band that liked to wriggle?
Live, keyboardist / singer / sometime bassist James Righton performed Bez duties while the shambolic singer / bassist Jamie Reynolds careened about the stage as if he couldn't decide which was the more important item to wrap his lips around; his microphone or his beer. The band as a whole emanated the sort of vibe The Happy Mondays probably did back in their days as a pub band, with the primary difference being that Klaxons could play their instruments. In fact, we thought one way to describe them would be to imagine what would happen if XTC grew up in Madchester, and then we realized that The Futureheads already existed so maybe that analogy is a bit off the mark.
In the end the lesson is: Don't believe the hype. And sometimes it would be a good idea to actually listen to a band's album before you see them so you don't show up to a punk show with a glow stick.
If the kids wanted to get their dance on, they should have caught the opening set from The Prairie Cartel, featuring Scott Lucas of Local H and Blake Smith of Caviar. Smith and Lucas work surprisingly well together and project charismatic confidence as they infuse dance beats with rock bite, and they deliver their songs with conviction when most groups would opt for ironic detachment.
Photo by Nev Brown for FiddleWhileYouBurn