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Raveonettes - London Astoria, 6/2/3003

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 15 / 2 / 2003

Raveonettes - London Astoria, 6/2/3003


At an NME showcase at the London Astoria, Anthony Strutt finds his first gig by his current favourite band the Raveonettes living up to all expectation, but is less than impressed by the rest of the bill

It is my second NME show, but more importantly it is my first the Raveonettes gig. It is 5.30 p.m. and I’m waiting outside the venue in daylight. Tonight’s gig is making me feel funny and nervous. Will my current favourite band disappoint me ? The queue. What queue ? The Raveonettes name is not even printed on the ticket, but they are due on stage at teatime, 6.30 p.m., which is exactly when they stumble on to the stage of an empty Astoria. The Astoria is the biggest flea pit in London, but NME readers voted it their Venue of the Year last year. It has canned over priced drinks, bossy security and the building is falling apart, but it is fairly central,. I suppose NME readers haven’t got into the habit of checking out smaller, further away venues because they have got so used to following NME with their tails between their legs. Anyway, as the name band T-shirt wearers wander in, 4 figures clad in black quietly move onto the stage, but this is the only quiet thing about the Raveonettes. Sharin Foo, who is dressed in a red top, is the stand out figure. Immediately the speakers scream out a perfect mixture of feedback and Buddy Holly with ‘Every Day’. I ask myself why no one has ever done this before, combined the innocence of the fifties with such a noise. ‘Every Day’ opens a 30 minute set that sees the crowd swell to full capacity, and is introduced by a drumbeat that reminds me of Bobby Gillespie’s primal drumming on ‘Just Like Honey’, This is not, however, the Jesus and Mary Chain. This is the year 2003, and things have moved on, and feedback bands have been passed by for noisy metal bands. The Raveonettes will change that. Fronted by Sune Rose Wagner and the lovely Sharin, they play a mere twelve song set that sees only five songs from their debut record on it, showing us that there’s plenty more from where those songs came from. Everything that smoothly escapes from the monitors is just heaven. Sune and Sharin’s great marriage of voices suits their sci-fi tales so well. Sharin’s bass playing is also so dirty that it eats into you. The percussion and the sonic attack of screaming guitars are also just perfect. There is fun in these tales. They are tongue in cheek. They are not miserable. They are a joy. After a mere 30 minutes, they leave the stage and me happy and satisfied. From here on, the gig gets worse. If this is the best that NME can write about, then they should get out of bloody Camden more often. Ikara Colt, the next group on, are a joke, not a band, the sort of thing that plays the Dublin Castle every night for a lifetime. Ladytron are a female fronted four piece from Liverpool, who are dressed as if they work in a factory, and who make us suffer with their their noodlings of ‘81-’83 bad sounding Depeche Mode-isms. The headliners, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, were at least something to look forward to, but again I was wrong. They used to look like crazy viikings, but now only the singer looks like a viking. The guitarist obviously wants to be in the Who, but they are from Sweden, for God’s sake. They delivered a classic album with ‘Welcome to the Infant Freebase’ back in 1996, but now they are forcing Ocean Colour Scene type crap on the kids in the audience who are all lapping it up like young lambs. After six songs, I can’t stand it or them, and decide to leave for a pint outside. At least the Guinness was nice in the pub and I saw our only new hope for 2003, and, guess what, there wasn’t a Union Jack jacket on the stage either The Raveonettes Setlist Every Day Attack of the Ghost Rders Evil L.A. Veronica Fever Let’s Rave On Chain Gang of Love Great Love Sound Wanna Dance Do U Believe Her My Tornado Beat City Every Day Reprise

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Raveonettes - London Astoria, 6/2/3003

Raveonettes - London Astoria, 6/2/3003

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