The Dandy Warhols - Cargo, Tuesday 30th August
If we'd released this today and not two and a half years ago there'd be a lot more assholes in here than there are.
The cooler than cool Dandy Warhols have no time for the terminally cool, the wannabe coiffured scenesters and hangers on that you tend to get at small venue album release shows like this one; the Bohemians Like You they so wonderfully take the piss out of on the track that brought them to both wider acclaim and annoyed the crap out of everyone in the same endless marketing campaign. The Dandys remain cool, in their faux aloofness, quite simply because they don't see themselves as cool, because they just do what they do with little thought or worry to prevailing trends in the hip list.
That's possibly why they released a New Romantic influenced album long before The Killers made it a commercially successful career choice, and why, now swirling keyboards are being chopped up with cranky guitar lines, they've gone back to a rambling, chaotic, psychadelic, stoner mish mash of their previous work that's as genius as it is often frustrating.
And possibly also why The Last High is the only track pulled from the Nick Rhodes produced Welcome To The Monkey House, the band instead opting to cull their set evenly from Dandy Warhols Come Down, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia and their latest, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars.
They bounce breezily through the hits:Get Off, Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, Bohemian Like You; take their time over the fuzzy, smokey I Love You and Godless and they're already messing with the new stuff by dropping the pop from Down Like Disco and turning it in to the closest approximation the Dandys probably have to a full on rock song.
Out front trumpet player, Achilles, makes a welcome return to add a layer of the Moricone dynamics they introduced on Thirteen Tales. Keyboard player and tambourine shaker, Zia McCabe, remains button cute as ever, Peter Holmstrom keeps his head down, tossing out the lead lines and the only man with bigger hair than The Mars Volta, drummer Brent De Boer remains hidden from view by the extraordinarily tall Mr Courtney Taylor Taylor. They remain laid back as ever, go-go dancers gyrating on the screen behind them, and you feel as if you've just stumbled in to a small party they ended up jamming at. However, it's not the Dandys at full force and it's pretty clear why.
Although Courtney breathes through the low parts and can still hit the high notes he begins to crack when he's singing the mid range material. After a joyfully turbulent blast through their current excellent Rolling Stooges single Smoke It, he calls it quits, his voice gone. Thankfully we're probably only a track away from the end anyway. So it's down, as always to Ms McCabe to close the set with a gentle lullaby to ease us off into the night.
And even though the Dandys may not be firing on all guns tonight it's still a great show and bodes well for their return in October (25th at the Hammersmith Palais) after they've loosened up a bit and given the new materiala bit of an airing. Still. Louche, laid back and loveable, it's a welcome return to the ever changing form of the Dandy Warhols.