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- Two Gallants »
Having released an album in the States last year and first coming to British attention via 2005’s A&R gangbang that was Austin, Texas’ South by South West event, there’s been a steady build of reputation around Two Gallants. Promised to be the next in line on the Saddle Creek monopoly of US cool, the band tentatively step into Britain to play their first non-festival (the duo played the Reading and Leeds Weekend) gig in front of a relatively small, but clearly ready-to-love crowd.
Singer Adam Stephens is rocking that twisted poster boy look; a straight-blonde mop sitting sweetly across a pair of dark, expressive eyes. Drummer Tyson Vogel is a sight to behold on his own: flailing arms and a writhing body combine to make him a unique percussive side-show.
The crowd is respectful and entranced in equal measures as the band switch between elegiac and impassioned. The most obvious comparisons are the band’s label head Conor Oberst and of course fellow guitar 'n' drums duo the White Stripes. Uninspired parallelisms, granted, but the idea of a less Robert Johnson-obsessed Jack White holds true.
The Gallants switch seamlessly between bitter Detroit blues, ragtime breakdowns and bare-noted, highly literate confessionals. Songs stretch out between five and near-ten minutes on occasion but very rarely will your concentration wander.
Apparently, the band has good nights and less so, as they still struggle to find consistency; if so, then this can only be a good night, as the Gallants perform one of the most striking, compelling and endearing gigs of the year.
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