The White Stripes
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The White's of their eyes.
After an astounding set from the * Von Bondies * (that's another review), not to mention all of the hype that surrounds The White Stripes I wondered if I was heading for a major anti-climax at roughly 9.45pm on the 19th of November. After all, I had heard their third album "White Blood Cells" as well as their recent Peel session and was totally astounded by their new take on a typically old sound; the blues. As well as this for some unknown reason I had a greater need to see this band over their American hype-a-likes; * The Strokes, * Andrew WK, * ARE Weapons* et al.
The set began with a shaky start due to a technical fault with Jack's guitar, however this was soon forgotten with the crash of a powerful wall of sound. They exploded with a sonic assault on the Civic crowd like a car crashing through a china shop on a Sunday morning. With a knackered old acoustic guitar and a bottleneck, the blues began and the crowd of all ages steamed forward. One after another the songs rolled eloquently from these 2 unsuspecting characters draped in trademark red and white clothing and with the ultimate in stage backgrounds; a tiny Detroit state flag.
I tried and wanted to remain unbiased while watching because of the publicity that surrounded them but I'm sorry to say by the end of a heart felt take on the * Dolly Parton* classic; "Jolene" that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end I had fallen under their spell. After "Jolene", came "Dead Leaves On The Dirty Ground" and "Fell In Love With A Girl" and uncountable blues riffs, jams and still the songs kept coming that could only come from years of practice and pain.
The timid pair, rocked out as if they were the * Rolling Stones* or some other stadium-filling band. They had their confidence during the songs and they had the crowd's respect. The guitar playing soared during every number, with the simplest of drums this brother and sister duo had the chemistry to tame even the most sceptic of the* Wolverhampton* crowd.
During the whole of the gig, I saw Jack White's eyes only once, this was due to a number of factors including the guy's head in front of me, the fact that Jack didn't keep still for very long and his hair constantly flopped over his pale face. However, the one instance I did see them was during "The Union forever". In this song of loneliness and pain his eyes seemed to reflect years of hurt and anguish, they may wear red and white but it seems to me that deep inside * The White Stripes* particularly Jack their colour is undoubtedly blue.
Though the crowd interactions were few and far between, the gratitude expressed by Jack "me and my big sister would like to thank you all for having us" was unnervingly genuine. The whole night was magnificent, aside from a few heckles and some comical moshing during "Hotel Yorba", it went out with a bang and was over far too quickly. Don't believe the hype, don't believe me, go and see them for yourself and you try to remain unbiased.
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