The Cooper Temple Clause, The Raveonettes, Kasabian

Alex Worsnip 23/11/2003

First on tonight are Kasabian, who hit us immediately for two reasons: the shockingly awful facial hair of the lead singer, and the huge, pulsating rhythm of their music. Thankfully the latter is enough to over-ride the former: the rhythm of these tracks really does flow right through your body, and their sound is a good one: a bit like latter-day Primal Scream, with a definate baggy edge. Thrillingly, they also have tunes, which means that I can genuinely see them getting somewhere in the future.

The Raveonettes are next and I can't say I was massively looking forward to them. They pleasently surprise me though: their first few songs are genuinely good, tempering their garage-rock with genuinely gothy gloom and guitar power, making opener 'Attack of the Ghost Riders' really enjoyable. Unfortunately after about 3 songs they go rotten, turning out much more simplistic yawnsome garage-rock. However, they make up again on thrilling closer 'Beat City', which is the best of their set. Checking the setlist later, I notice that the enjoyable songs came from their debut mini-album 'Whip It On', whereas the bad ones come from the more recent 'Chain Gang Of Love'. Unfortunately, on record, because of deliberately poor production, even the 'Whip It On' songs are fairly bad.

Finally, its the Coopers: the band I'm really here for. They re-affirm my belief that they are the best British band of the last 5 years, with blistering versions of tracks from both their debut and their new album. Every track is enhanced live: 'Music Box' and 'The Same Mistakes' are both tremendously powerful, while 'Promises Promises' and 'Blind Pilot' pack the expected arse-kicking punch. They really do have to be experienced live if you want to truly understand them, as the complexity and originality of their music, even that off the debut, is often overlooked. The fans are obsessive and the crowd atmosphere fantastic. An excellent gig, with all 3 bands exceeding varying expectations.