Thursday, March 06, 2008Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend played an utterly astounding show at ULU a couple of weeks ago. The Brooklyn boys brought their fresh and funky blend of Afro-beat-meets-new-wave-hipster-meets-Ivy-league-preppy insanely danceable top rate pop music to London and London loved it. Propesctive listeners might have been put off by the amount of hype they've received recently, appearing on almost every Top 10 for 2008 list, or the fact that their name makes you think they're going they dress as the Horrors at the weekend. You'd be wrong. These guys are definitely not some here today, gone tomorrow chancers. They even played a NEW song, which is quite daring if you consider they only released their debut album two weeks beforehand.
You'll have to listen to their music to get any proper understanding of how good it is. Words just can't do it justice. So I will describe other things. They came across as refreshingly intelligent, friendly, unpretentious chaps with lots to say. All too often (British)indie bands are too arrogant to give some good banter; they are too busy being serious or looking unwashed. Maybe New York (and Columbia University) produces much more cosmopolitan, confident (but unassuming) people than London (etc), I don't know. But it was nice to hear/see nice music by nice people. I especially liked the singer Ezra Koenig's brown leather deck shoes. Lots of folk in Billyburg were wearing them last summer and I really want a pair, but that's another story.
There was a fire alarm two thirds of the way into their set, just as things were building up to a roaring climax. The band very diligently left the stage and the crowd filtered out through ULU's fire escapes and we all had to wait in the cold for half an hour. Champions that they are, Vampire Weekend had the audience lapping them up within minutes of getting back on stage, regaining their momentum quickly and playing all their best songs. Not even a fire alarm could thwart this most triumphant of gigs. Superb!
I'm glad you enjoyed them - I fear too many people are going to go into knee-jerk backlash mode because of their currently ubiquity. I saw them when they supported the Shins & even as a support band they made the effort with the banter!
(The americans I was there with both made a comment about the shoes too!!)