Sunday, August 27, 2006I'll be your badger
On Tuesday last week the hype train rolled into London. The occasion was Tapes'n'Tapes' second visit to London, playing hipper than hipflasks White Heat. You could tell the anticipation levels were high. By 7pm the queue was round the block and past all the neighbouring Soho sex shops. At 9.30pm we were still waiting outside, having seen members of Franz Ferdinand, the Horrors and Bernard Butler already enter. Mental note: buy advance tickets next time. Rough Trade's other latest signing, 1990s were on first, but that's another blog entry for another day. I'll tell you now though, Kate Jackson of The Long Blondes was dancing next to me and cheering for her labelmates.
Tapes'n'Tapes entered the tiny Madame Jojos stage to a rapturous applause. They looked like four very normal American young men, which was a funny contrast with their dressed-up coolcat crowd of zeitgeist spotters. Their music is a dark, passionate alt-country which is sometimes more folky and sometimes more rocky. The set started off well with some of their faster, polka-inspired numbers, but the poor sound in the club meant that the intricacies of their songs were lost in the acoustics. They saved their single, Insistor, for second last and it made everything better. That song could save any set from shit creek. It's like a fucked-up, black magic barn dance with Sons and Daughters and Wolf Parade with a soaring chorus which teeters the edge between bliss and desparation and even features the line "and know that I will be your badger"...which is just excellent really. They also sing about "fighting for lovers' rights" which is a romantic and inexplicable proposition. The last song is also good and ends with a cruscendo of noise and solos and all that. The aftershow consensus is that they were good, they have some excellent songs, but this wasn't their best show for various reasons. I hope to see them again at Kings College in November to be convinced further of their greatness.
Their debut album, The Loon, is out now on XL Recordings. You can listen to Insistor on their MySpace.
On a White Heat note, The Low Miffs will be releasing their first single through White Heat Records. They play their second ever London show on 15th September at the Barfly. Tickets here