Edit this event
Johnny Foreigner’s Alexei Berrow closes the gig with a quick reflection: "Cheers. I feel like we’ve made some new friends down here at the front", acknowledging the youth that have hugged the monitors and jigged and jived to the finish - pretty much the only ones to raise their appreciation over a wobbling head or a stuttering, choking jerk of the knee.
I think about this closing comment as I stare at Julian Casablacas the next day. His face, in another piece assessing his contribution to the decade, has my attention in the same way that a kettle, a chair or the curtains might suddenly transfix you. But usually, after a time, a kettle and the like will start to slowly bend its structure under such intense inspection, wrapping itself around your eyes like never before until your brain starts to question the entire form and purpose of this never before scrutinized, everyday item. But I keep staring at his face and I get nothing. It’s like an anti-Proustian moment. I’m trying to be transported to a time and a place, anything, anywhere. But nothing. Blank. Flat. And I wonder how Casablancas and company could’ve ever inspired anything in anyone close to passion or devotion. If they really are the pin ups of the last ten years, then was the decade just one long, barely twitching, self-conscious pose, unable to grasp onto anything with heart or meaning and instead just seeing whatever combination looked best scavenged from the vintage jumble? I dunno. Maybe. Probably not. But still, I do know that watching Johnny Foreigner and then listening to the records again, makes you wonder why you’d want to champion anyone, any band, that didn’t exhibit an ounce of their charm as they continue to splash a succession of vivid, feverish, yearning tales over small-scale grey-town canvases.
Hearing the tracks from the new album again live serves to completely knock back any talk of a dip in quality with Grace and the Bigger Picture more than able to stand alongside prior releases. 'Dark Harbourzz' is a highlight of the album and the set, a resigned and weary ‘we do what we can’ repeated like a mantra before a spine tingling howl of frustration sweeps it away. The night ends with a triumphant finale as support act Internet Forever fill the sound and pack out the stage for a soaring close to 'The Coast Was Always Clear”, a visual manifestation of the scrappy grandeur that Johnny Foreigner seem to be able to imbue in even the swiftest two minutes of perfect pop noise.
- In Photos: Truck Festival 2012 @ Hill Farm, Steventon
- In Photos: Johnny Foreigner @ The Harley, Sheffield
- SAVAGE PIXELS #8: Vita, Catherine, The Darkness II, Final Fantasy XII-2, JoFo’s Fantastic Five
- Spotifriday #116 - This week on DiS as as playlist ft. Slayer, Wilco, David Lynch + more
- Johnny Foreigner - Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything
- Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything track-by-track
- In Photos: Off The Cuff Festival 2011 @ The Flapper & Firkin, Birmingham
- Mixtape: Camden Crawl '11 + Win VIP Tickets