Sunday, 24 February 2008

Live review: Vampire Weekend @ Oxford C***ing Academy

indie rock band pose #6

Touted as an odd-but-compelling blend of the Strokes and Paul Simon’s Graceland, as a live act the badly, irrelevantly-named Vampire Weekend owe more to the amphetamine-eating mod bands of the British invasion. They play with the same intensity and taut energy, and have the same knack for blending catholic musical tastes into clever, memorable three-minute pop songs. Their chief selling points – fussily melodic afro-pop guitar lines and clattering, complicated drum patterns – are leavened out by rhythm-and-blues organ riffs and 2-tone bass-lines. Predictably, a socially-exclusive education has bequeathed an incapacity for onstage banter, though the presence in their short set-list of a song with ‘Oxford’ in its title provides opportunities for some cheerful, winsome dialogue.

If the internet hype-cycle is to be taken seriously, Vampire Weekend are simultaneously atop the crest of a blog-fuelled rise to glory and in the depths of a critical backlash against their class, dress sense and influences. Neither of these pop-culture ripples seems to have had much of an impact on the band, whose confident, playful, nerdily enthusiastic set recalls early Franz Ferdinand shows. The danger is, like Franz or other post-Strokes hype-disasters like the Bravery, the band will start to take itself seriously. But on the strength of a song debuted tonight and reportedly featuring on their second album, chances are they’ll avoid that pitfall.

here's that song they were so excited about, live at amoeba records:

No comments: