Monday, November 2

The Dead Weather @Brixton Academy

. Monday, November 2


As Jack White, who only shot to fame at the start of this decade, stands behind his drum kit in front of 5,000 people hollering and whooping for his third band The Dead Weather it’s easy to understand why people continue to form ‘super-bands’ so prolifically.

Under normal circumstances a band featuring the superb but commercial minnows The Kills Alison Mosshart and a squad member of Queens Of The Stone Age would not get the chance to play anywhere near the size of Brixton Academy but add the name Jack White to the fray and suddenly everyone wants to know. It’s an odd sense of loyalty that music fans have that they will follow one mans journey through the genres but such is the devotion to White and his past in The White Stripes that tonight’s venue is sold-out. Ditching the country blues of Brendan Benson and The Raconteurs in favour of the arched and sleek Mossheart with her vintage distortion in The Dead Weather is definitely a good look for White. Towards the end of their last tour some of The Raconteurs guitar solos went on for so long there are rumours you can still hear them going on if you stand in certain corners of the nations gig halls. The band had become flabby and middle aged, Jack White is neither of these things as his imposing black clad frame testifies tonight.

The first thing that strikes you about this group is just how incredibly loud they are. Guitarist Dean Fertita’s day job in QOTSA has certainly permeated through into the stage set-up as the next day’s ringing ears testify. Also refreshing and new is Mossheart’s demonic kidnapping. Away from the drum machine and stylish restrain of The Kills she shows herself to be an aggressive and engaging performer as she stalks the stage kicking and metaphorically spitting at the front rows before strutting to the front and assessing the baying mass before her. ‘Hang You From The Heavens’ is Mosshearts signature tune, the only time The Dead Weather feel like being exclusively her band. Pushing the trio supporting her into obscurity she purrs and whirrs through the dirty seduction as everyone in the building offers their own hair in sacrifice. It is Mossheart who impresses most tonight, from playing guitar on ‘New Pony’ to matching White pound for pound on charisma during their numerous duets. White on the other hand feels like he is on auto-pilot. People are accepting The Dead Weather as the methadone to their White Stripes addiction and whilst the return of the duo lies in Meg White’s anxious hands you get the feeling Jack White is as eager to get back as his fans are. He is a fine drummer and gives the crowd what they want as he emerges from behind his kit to sing and raise the decibel level even further by wailing on his guitar but you can’t help feeling the man is just coasting. The adrenaline and passion of his performance are nothing compared to his improvised set-lists and instrument flipping genius of The White Stripes.

The set ends on a high with the one-two uppercut of ‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’ and ‘I Cut Like A Buffalo’ but as the band take a bow the feeling is more a hankering to see The Kills/ White Stripes than it is to hear more from their current incarnation.


Anonymous said...

Poor review.

(a) the term is 'supergroups'
(b) check song titles before you use them
(c) I think a lot of people would disagree with the assertion that The Raconteurs had 'become flabby and middle aged'
(d) If you think that The Raconteurs play long guitar solos you are clearly unfit to review a 'rock' band
(e) many people enjoy guitar solos
(f) I can think of no reason to in any way assume that jack white was or is 'coasting'

Get it together.

David said...

Well that's me told.

Anonymous said...

The review is spot on.Jack White does look as though he is waiting to get back to the White Stripes and Mosshart is tiresome.

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