Friday, July 17

TV On The Radio@ Brixton Academy 13/07/09

. Friday, July 17

TV On The Radio are one of those bands you suspect some people pretend to like to seem cool. Y'know the ones, Animal Collective, Burial etc. Sure they are good and people like them but there's a healthy group who see dropping choice names as a short cut to credibility. Perhaps this explains TVOTR selling out Brixton Academy to it's capacity or perhaps it is down to the fact that the Brooklyn band are possibly the finest band of the decade.

A heady claim it may be but look for another band who have evolved, experimented and grown as consistently and confidently as this band and you will be grasping at a small few. Taking to the stage as heroes before they play a note the band take it all in their stride. Guitarist and producer du jour Dave Sitek stays mute throughout, swaying into his amp with an impractical wind chime attached to his guitar neck. Similarly, Kyp Malone is a static performer hiding behind both his instrument and huge amounts of hair. The heart and soul of TVOTR however belongs to Tunde Adebimpe, a man with a voice that moistens and warms ('Shout Me Out') whilst never veering to far from something near apoplexy ('Red Dress', 'Dancing Shoes').

Playing a set which leans heavily on 2008's 'Dear Science' TVOTR are in sleek festival mode and play through the hits with vigour. Malone takes over vocal duties on the bouncing 'Golden Age'
and again on 'Crying'. His falsetto tones might not be as rich as Adebimpe's but they offer an interesting friction and antithesis to the performance. Amidst guest appearances from support act Noisettes (who come on to play percussion in the penultimate song) and a stunning run through 'Desperate Youth...' cut 'The Wrong Way' the 6 men whip the crowd into a frenzy, we tap feet and nod heads one moment then look on contemplatively the next as the bi-polar extremities of the music rear their equally attractive heads.

The evening's performance ends with a positively tribal version of 'Staring At The Sun', the room is united in a visceral sense of community, this is the sound of apocalyptic music being brought to you by true talent and all lit by a piercing red light show. The band leave heroes, all future shows have a damn high bar to leap now.



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