The Cribs and Hard-FiEdit this event
Sometimes, the last chance saloon is a pleasant place to be. For instance, put yourself in the shoes of both Ricky Wilson and Richard Archer for a few moments. Both started out on the road to rock'n'roll infamy many years ago. Both had the odd technical (and several untechnical) mishaps along the way. Both have since bounced back like... powered-up Pacmen perhaps.
If Archer's previous incarnation as a member of Clash uberfans Contempo was shortlived and ill-fated to the extreme, then his new persona as the all-singing, all-jumping, pro-plussed frontman of funkpoppunkdublynous Hard-Fi is something else.
Like less aggressive siblings of the Dead 60s, Hard-Fi make songs that you can sing, dance, chant from the third tier of Old Trafford and accuse your boss of being without ever reaching a preliminary state of climax. It's quite possible that these guys will end up selling a lot of records in the not too distant future. You have been warned.
Next up are the 42nd generation of the Jarman family, also known as The Cribs. Imagine if The Strokes had been born in Wakefield and worshipped Jarvis Cocker whilst listening to Supergrass rather than their rich dads' Velvet Underground collections.
They bounce, they sneer, they smile, they leer. The drummer Ross stands menacingly over his kit throughout, while the twins Ryan and Gary swap and share vocal duties like over-excited schoolboys who've just completed their first Panini sticker collection. Still, 'Direction' and 'You Were Always The One' are impeccably ace to the point of being subliminally imprinted in the brain, which makes them a thousand times more memorable than the Strokes anyway.
And then it's the moment everyone has been waiting for. Six months ago the Kaiser Chiefs were playing next door in the twilight hours at some rag's sponsored club night. Today you can't buy a ticket for less than 10 times the face value, so it's fair to say they've come a long way since their humble beginnings as garage racketeers Parva.
As frontmen go, Ricky Wilson is up there with the best of 'em, which at this moment in time means he's occupying green room status with the likes of Bono and Brandon Flowers.
As expected, his band have become as watertight as a frogman's suit round 15 stones of chugging flesh, and despite a shortage of songs ('Oh My God' is stopped and started what seems like umpteen times which pads things out a bit) everything they play has A.N.T.H.E.M. tattooed upon it in gold plaited Rockwell extra bold letters.
To hear the likes of 'Hard Times Send Me' and 'Modern Way' being sung back to him in almost choral fashion brings a lump to Wilson's throat, although when he decides to give the audience a present - himself - by way of stagediving across the front three rows the second parting of the red sea causes an almost catastrophic bellyflop across the Rescue Rooms' floor.
It's almost certainly too early to say whether the Kaiser Chiefs' phenomenon will have any real longevity, but for now their unmistakeably English feelgood factor is a welcome tonic amidst the impending recycling of Britpop once 'Don't Believe The Truth' hits the shops.
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