The Icarus Line and JosephineEdit this event
Josephine must find the NYC garage explosion a right royal pain in the ass. “If this band were from Nooo Yoik, they’d be hewge!!” scream their closest supporters. Maybe they're right. But Josephine are much more than that – for starters, they have some proper good tunes. This is an Artrocker night and Josephine fit quite neatly into that ‘art’ mould too. Managing to look cool and uncool at the same time (singer Keith would like it pointed out that he was wearing very nice trousers), they also manage to splice up underground indiepop from the last couple of decades yet sound refreshingly different. Sure, there are obvious elements of The Fall (‘Hit The Youth’, anyone?), and a few people have mumbled about ‘This Is Not An Exit’s melody sounding uncannily like Stereolab, but we shall let that pass. One of the best things about Josephine is their don’t-give-a-shit attitude. They know they stick out like a sore thumb in the Glasgow scene. The worst thing about them is that nobody’s made them famous yet (are you listening, A&R?).
Then… the Icarus Line come onstage and give me tinnitus. Bastards. First things first, I know bugger all about them other than they wear stupid makeup and make a racket. It has to be said though, like Part Chimp, the Icarus Line make a very glorious racket. There are even – sit down – tunes in there. I like tunes, and I like bands who make me happy. I get even happier when their little pixie drummer runs offstage to the bar next to me, to ask the barman, “can I get, like, a beeeer?” before returning to the stage a happier man with his can of alcohol. Class.
Musically, it’s all powerful, in-yer-face NOIZE to mess your head, fuck your senses upside down and back again. Can I get a “hell yeah!” off ya? Whether the singer is out in the crowd or stood stock still onstage, it wouldn’t make a difference to the intensity of it. Music with its blood and guts on show, just how we like it. It’s a short set but it’s enough.
As most of the crowd leave, Radio Vago have to clean up the mess. The girls intend to fuck some shit up, but the Icarus Line are a difficult act to follow. It starts well. The singer has been practising her moves, it seems. The thumbs-in-jeans pose is the one getting the most airing. She’s cool but she’s not quite as cool as Karen O. She knows she can get the crowd in the palm of her hands, and oh yes she will. I like her, because she has the same name as me.
The doubter in the crowd is heckling “are you the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Or are you the Von Bondies?” It’s a bit unfair on them. Radio Vago are by no means the very scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel garage we’ve endured on our journeys round London’s toilet circuit in the last two years (hello The Go, hello The Realistics. Hello, and fuck off. Please). There’s just something missing, something not quite right. It feels like it’s a novelty, and it’s a novelty that’s wearing off. It’s no use having bands trying to be cool, it’s much better having bands who are effortlessly cool. Let’s get rid of the style over content, and let’s get in the bands who MEAN it and mean SOMETHING. At the moment, Radio Vago are somewhere inbetween those two.
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