Camden Barfly, London, 8 April 2006
"Your name's not down, you're not comin' in",
so said an old rave tune and sadly it is exactly the situation
this musicOMH scribe finds himself in on arrival at Camden's
Barfly. So after Klaxons' manager has arrived and generously
paid for my ticket, it is a stroke of cranky synchronicity
when his young charges take to the stage and break straight
into a cover of exactly that song: Kicks Like A Mule's The
are a slightly unhinged four-piece with a love of shouty
indie punk and an obsession with early nineties rave culture.
This is reflected by a few lightstick-waggling fans, the
odd blast of airhorn and the fact that one of the band members
prefers to go by the name of Captain Strobe. If this all
sounds like a horrible joke, the genius is in the execution
and backed up by some strong material of their own. Part
Supergrass, part Altern 8,
part pilled-up punk pantomime, Klaxons seem to genuinely
be enjoying themselves, rather than merely peddling post-modern
irony, with frontman Jamie Reynolds looking like a possessed
younger brother of Tim Burgess as he screeches
at the crowd.
the bass-driven jangle of Gravity's Rainbow to the dancefloor
squeal and manic electronic thrash of forthcoming single
Atlantis To Interzone, they manage to prove they are more
than a novelty act. Just when you begin to question what
their distinguishing features are musically, a reminder
comes in the form of another cover of a dance classic as
they join rock and rave at the hip with a fantastic cover
of Grace's Not Over Yet. Captain Strobe
then leads the shouting for a bass-heavy, hard-rocking rumpus
before taking a couple of dives off the stage to end.
Klaxons certainly won't please any chin-stroking musos they
are all the better for it with their amphetamine-drenched
performance focussed on energy and fun. Ones to watch in
the sense that you really should try and see them even if
it is just for curiosity's sake.
old hardcore rave hits playing between sets, this is not
your normal night at the Barfly as is further evidenced
by Joseph Mount's brainchild Metronomy.
Headlining with backing band The Food Groups, they look
like a set of grown up Teletubbies with matching lights
on their chests and produce a sound in Black Eye / Burnt
Thumb of a bizarre, electric marching band full of machine-driven
oompah. Following this up with a sax-led track loosely underpinned
by the sort of hammersplatter beats usually preserved for
glitchtronica acts, Metronomy provide an enjoyably mesmeric
experience. Bright synthpop hooks and electro-rock eccentricity
are enriched by a sense of humour that sees the band making
bizarre pigeon-like noises one moment and strumming their
guitars like banjos while performing synchronised dance
moves the next.
the crowd scream their appreciation, Mount says: "Please
don't embarrass us by asking for more… As an encore,
how many bands play a song they've already played?".
Not many, you imagine, but it proves just as infectious
second time around, building to a mosh-inducing crescendo.
A night of frantic, hedonistic bedlam where good music and
fun were equally high on the agenda, just as it should be.
- Ian Roullier, 04/2006