We love the Raveonettes yet, somehow, we have never seen them live. Cue blathering, cue excitement, cue having to hope that the interminable postal strikes that seem to beset London every other day don’t prevent the tickets from showing up in time. Fortunately, Royal Mail come through, delivering tickets to the couple of hundred people rammed into the Bar and Kitchen, eagerly awaiting the Danes first London appearance in over a year.
Nominally a premature launch for the new album, In and Out of Control, released next month, the show is very much about the new songs. While the distortion pedals have returned to a more predominant position since 2005’s Pretty in Black, the Jesus and Mary Chain stylings that characterised the Raveonettes early material still take a back seat to Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo’s doo-wop tinged vocals and twanging guitars.
However, the shift of emphasis from noise-pop exposes their shortcomings. Hopefully it can just be written off as the band being a bit rusty for a one-off show ahead of a full tour later this year but both Sune, looking less and less like Russell Brand’s aloof older brother and increasingly resembling a raven-haired Art Garfunkel, and Sharin seem short of stage presence tonight. There’s a lack of energy onstage and the new songs, such as Bang! and Suicide, suffer as a result.
It’s only really on set closer Aly, Walk With Me that everything clicks. Sune and Sharin crank up the fuzz and the rhythm section finally lock into place, powering the band onwards. Guitar strings are attacked with a gusto sadly absent until now and layers of noise are built upon layers of noise that slowly fade out as the band leave the stage. The old adage says that you should always leave the crowd wanting more. The Raveonettes do just that, but unfortunately not quite for the right reasons.
By Enna Cooper
Image via alterna2's Flickrstream under a Creative Commons licence