Posts tagged ‘Raconteurs’

May 19, 2008

White Riot

Ever since Meg White anounced at the end of last year that she had acute anxiety it seems The Raconteurs have become Jack White’s major concern.  Even before this weeks gig at the Hammersmith Apollo there was talk as to whether Jack’s new band could be taken seriously, excluded from the hysteria of The Stripes.  This latest performance has just proved to the doubters, critics and cynics alike that The Raconteurs are very much alive and kicking.    Though led by the hyperactive intensity of White he by no means brings everything to the table.  Benson, Keeler and Lawrence bring a dynamism, power and flexibility that at times overshadows anything the Stripes could muster.  From the opening riff of ‘Consolers of the Lonely’ the full frontal assault and sheer ferocity of their sound is bewildering.   Benson adds much needed light to White’s darkness, while Keeler and Lawrence flex and jam with supple precision.

Of course White steals the show eventually, though only after everyone has been given their time in the spotlight.  Benson’s tour de force is ‘Many shades of Black’, with its powerful key changes and sing-along chorus, while the rythm section undepin every White nuance with aplomb especially on the riff heavy rock of ‘Salute your Solution’ and the epic blues closer of ‘My Blue Vein’ – complete with ‘Since I’ve been loving you’ type intro.   White’s energy consumes the stage at times and drives the band into showstopping climaxes – steel blues shuffle ‘Top Yourself’ careens into a delightful bar-room boogie.   Many of the songs are treated with the same joyful exuberance while the crowd rapturously feed off the frenetic vibe.  When White becomes animated  – stabbing his finger whilst screaming out his lyrics – the Apollo erupts, in turn exciting White to further raise the tempo.  

Many of the songs were from the new album, with only a smattering of hits from the first, suggesting confidence in the new material and with a band that is just discovering its full potential.  Carolina Drama’, finishes the show – another Jack fable, about a boy, his red haired mother and the milkman.  It splendidly captures the playful essence of the band while displaying a fittingly freewheeling climax to a memorable show.

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