Old Blue Last, London
There's an old parable of a bug who lived in the worlds most beautiful Persian rug. He spent all his time laboriously climbing over each tuft and viewed them as nothing but obstacles that stood in his way of progress. The sad tale is that he lived and died in this thing of beauty but never saw the glorious pattern to which he belonged. I was reminded of this tale as I stood in the beer soaked ambiance of Shoreditch's Old Blue Last watching Texan trio White Denim. As they embarked on what would be a mammoth non-stop medley of pretty much everything on their debut LP it was at times hard to see this onslaught of feral noise as mere obstacles that stood in the way of me and a lifetime of healthy hearing. But thankfully, and unlike our little bug friend, one nod from vocalist James Petralli towards his band members and the whole thing would drop into jagged funk riffs and as if by magic the pattern was revealed and the beauty made gloriously evident.
Admittedly using words like 'pattern' and 'beauty' is perhaps as misguided as feeding caviar to a rabid dog. The reality was a sweaty bar heaving with eager fans and three guys who thrashed the shit out of their fledgling back catalogue. This set wasn't just one song after another, it was one song, lasting for about 25 minutes and never let up in tempo. The only reason they had a short break in the middle was to repair some equipment. It was fierce and furious and played out like they had a train to catch, double-time. It was thrilling from start to finish and actually made me resent the times we live in. We're all so self aware now-days and it felt wrong not to be punching some dude in the face to this music, not intentionally of course but a dirty yet euphoric mosh scrap was really the only fitting way to behave in the presence of such passionately manic rock. And yet like their album, all this seemingly unharnessed frenzy is very much supported by a sturdy and considered foundation and when it chooses to reveal itself the pattern is awesome. From what I could hear above the ringing in my ears (which still goes on this morning) the new songs sound just as sturdy as the old which just fueled my appetite for the imminent release of the new record Fits. I recommend anybody in earshot to go and see these guys.
20th May 2009 - Tumblr4