Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Grand Stand Finish

Peter Bjorn And John/The Russian Futurists, Bar Academy, Birmingham, Monday August 7 2006.

This gig review is dedicated to Nadean, because Dead Kenny was too busy going to see these bands to send her a birthday greeting. Sorry, Ned!

The Russian Futurists are in fact three Canadians and therefore blatant liars as well as purveyors of the kind of sweet-natured whitebread hip-hop that should find Hot Chip fans writhing and battered in their own deepfat-fried sexual excitement. They've got some good melodies (closer 'You And The Wine' a standout) and some decent beats, but the guy's voice is a little one-dimensional and your correspondent still finds it hard to resist giggling at pasty-faced balding Canadians referring to each other as 'homeboys'. The RFs have released three albums to date but don't panic if you're curious, as there is a compilation of the best bits from each album (entitled 'Me Myself And Rye', see what they did there?) released in the UK at the end of this month (August, for factfans finding it difficult to keep up).

Peter from Peter, Bjorn And John liked The Russian Futurists, but he has one complaint: from where he was standing, he couldn't see them. Proving he's proactive and practical as well as the shaggy-haired lead singer of everybody's favourite literally-monikered Swedish powerpop trio, he makes an impromptu podium from an equipment box to stand upon so the people at the back can watch him sing former Parallax View Single Of The Week and this year's defining summer hit 'Young Folks'. Consideration: we love it in our women and we find it equally hot in our pop stars, and P B & J seal the deal with two ferocious rock numbers providing the final meltdown to a tight, memorable set. Sharp work from a group that's going places, and who also have the good sense to model their haircuts on Dead Kenny ('cept for the bald drummer, of course, no wonder they shoved him behind the sticks!).

Postcript: Meltdown was right in another unbearably hot and sweaty night at Bar Academy, again eliciting comments from the bands. So how come a fan behind the bar was plugged in but not switched on? Someone sort that shit out!