Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Younger Knives

I saw The Young Knives for the third time this year last night - another cracking gig, and quite amazing to see how their appeal has broadened into the intervening months. The first time I saw them - at the Ocean Rooms - they were tremendous, but the audience was small and a long way from being groomed or stylish (myself particularly, I admit). At Audio a couple of months later there was a bit more of a buzz but it was still pretty sedate. Last night, however, I realised how quickly they've come on (and how poor the Concorde 2 is at checking its customers' ID) - the growd was a riot of youthful, dressy, slanty-haired teens with cloudbursts of mascara and low-slung belts. They danced arhythmically and clutched glowsticks (the DJ, noticing the mood, cued up Shitdisco and The Klaxons) before the band came on.

And then they leapt and moshed and sashayed their way through the YK set, singing along with every word. Was surprised and amused and pleased. I would never have said, before, as much as I wanted it to happen, that the Knives would really breakthrough into the mainstream. I think I might have been wrong, though.

The band, as brilliant as ever, seemed to recognise this, too - regularly sharing raised eyebrows as the crowd before them threw themselves around with naive abandon. Unfortunately, an album-heavy set clearly focused on raising the temperature meant there were no airings of 'Guess The Baby's Weight', 'Worcestershire Madman' nor the brilliant 'Current of The River'. But riotous run throughs of 'Kramer Vs Kramer', 'She's Attracted To' and 'Elaine' more than made up for that. Best of all was a lovely, slight - and rather rare - attempt at 'Tailors' - during which I marvelled at the ingenuity of a young crowd so enthusiastic that when Henry sang "Tailors are the best, see them running with their brollies" a whole subsection of the mosh pit stopped swaying and mimed the opening of a dozen imaginary umbrellas. Awesome.


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