The Modern, Luxemborg, William

Mike Hall 09/03/2005

The Spirit of the legendary Pop Of The Tops nights at New Cross' Paradise Bar (currently sans music licence) has been resurrected and neatly transferred to the neighbouring Amersham Arms, and their opening night bill is one of great quality.

Local boys WILLIAM take the stage first, and are instantly driving at the incessant rhythm of traditional set-closer 'Liplocked'. It stands, as ever, as an awkward anthem of frustration and provides an adrenalin rush that flows throughout the set.
The instrument-swapping three-piece fire off angular pop riffs layered over the insightful, occasionally heart-string-tugging lyrics of front man Gavin, though it is the repetitive, hypnotic drone of one of their brand new songs that really stands out here tonight.

The brilliantly observed 'Whoreditch' explodes into the room and it is evident that William are a band of supreme urgency and massive potential.

LUXEMBOURG are, it is becoming generally accepted, a Very Good Band. Striking stage presence combined with their updated form of sophisticated British pop prove to be a winning formula.

On tracks like recent single 'What The Housewives Don't Tell You', they take their kitchen sink melodrama to great heights, looping a tale of everyday sexual desire into a stomp-a-long disco hit that's almost impossible to resist.

There are very few new bands around that have the talent, skill and delivery of Luxembourg. They appear to have scant regard for the goings-on of the current 'scene' and are all the better for it. A triumphal band, then, with class to spare.

THE MODERN are something of an anomaly. Cooler than ice, and with more production than a three-ring circus, they bring crisp, clinical euro-pop to its' logical conclusion.

They could have existed at any point over the last twenty years, having taken loving swipes at The Human League, Duran Duran et al to form their sound.

They're something of a total package, with flamboyant showmanship tied neatly to their fine-lined pop beats, as their recent signing to Mercury Records will attest.

They certainly won't be to everyone's taste, but who can't take a little glamour once in a while?