Monday, October 26, 2009
Creature With The Atom Brain and The Dead Weather, Manchester Academy, 19 October
Sadly, it's most likely to stay that way, as the 4 piece offer a set that consists of 70s psych-rock, and which is, for the greater part, made up of overly long songs that sound identical, and proceed at exactly the same tempo. The addition of random time changes cannot disguise the basic over-indulgence, as most numbers are based around a single riff, and lack a sense of direction and purpose. And for a band influenced by Roky Erickson and 13 Floor Elevators, that's a shame, though their brand of drug-induced riffery might go down better in the US, to which the band clearly owe their sound.
All eyes however fall immediately on the magnetic stage prescence of The Kills' Alison Mossheart, dressed all in black, smouldering, very much the rock goddess incarnate, as she sways around, dragging the mike back and forth. She's like every hot female lead singer ever, be it Debbie Harry or Chrissie Hynde, both irresistible and untouchable. The contrast with the support band is like night and day. The Dead Weather sway wonderfully, performing with a sense of theatre and rock and roll attitude lacking in CWAB's set. Beginning with 60 Feet Tall from the bands' one and only album Horehound, its' haunting trip hop blues reminiscent of Portishead.
The crowd are desperate for a sign of Jack White though, and indulging in his rock drummer fantasy behind the skins, he's hard to see, despite his Keith Moon style histrionics. By the fourth song, a cover of Them's 'You Just Can't Win' he's up assisting on vocal duties, which he dedicates to Noel Gallagher, and it's quickly becoming clear that The Dead Weather is very much his baby. The various elements that characterise his output, the early blues, the Dylanesque lyrics, the Zeppelin riffs, they're all present. The Dead Weather does have a much more contemporary feel than The Raconteurs, though, and the there's more of a sense of musical dynamism in the interplay between the musicians than is present in the simple, direct songwriting of The White Stripes. Ironically, Jack White is also a better drummer than his sibling/wife/mate/whatever Meg, but it's a bit like having Wayne Rooney in goal ; you know he can do the job, but you really want him up front.