Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, London Astoria, April 2007
Considering how fantastic BRMC had been last time we saw them in London (see Day 35), we were definitely up for them again. Maybe this was tempting fate a little too much? That's not to say this was a bad gig – it is just that it is mentally obscured by the blinding, lens flared, perfect memories of that previous gig. Nothing was really missing from this night, the band still provide that sense of enjoyment you get from seeing a group multi-task and sweep easily through differing styles & tempos. The contrast of Howl’s almost Americana to earlier (and later) rock stompers was still a perfect substructure on which a great setlist can be constructed. If anything, it was going along knowing that this time that was the problem - the lack of surprise. Typing all this it seems hypocritical to be hard on a great band for being consistently excellent, but that is why you go to gigs isn’t it? To see and experience that extra 5% on stage? There was a lot of songs we weren’t overly familiar with, from their new album at the time, Baby 81, which was a return to their riffs & boogie. ‘Berlin’, ‘Lien On Your Dreams’, and ‘Weapon Of Choice’ are all cool songs that have that vein of 60s/kraut/drone/pop oozing through this band, and contemporaries the Dandys and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Solid. I just can’t help going back to that bug in my brain, that “it just wasn’t as good as last time”. Sorry chaps. I’m harking back. Can’t beat the stompy glam of ‘Spread Your Love’.