To be fair, their initial 2006 reception wasn't all their fault. With only a couple UK singles out, audiences here were unfamiliar with their material. Plus, with the misleading "new rave" tag (despite it being their own damn fault) foisted upon them, the Klaxons were met with the infamous NYC crossed arms.
But this time, the band were on much more level playing ground. Their excellent debut, Myths of the Near Future, was out. More importantly, they had gained a permanent drummer, Steffan Halperin. As a trio, shows were energetic but sloppy, more like a garage impersonation of the inventiveness heard on their singles. Now they can replicate the studio recordings and, often, improve upon them.
They've also dropped the silly early-'90s throwback outfits, the last remnants of the new-rave stigma. Klaxons defy categorization and cannot be tagged as retro. You can dance to their songs, but it is also punky -- but not punk funk. There's too much going on in their sound. Myths of the Ancient Future is seriously a great record, and if you've been avoiding it because of silly genre names, give it a chance.
Highlights for me were "Totem on the Timeline," "Isle of Her," "As Above, So Below," "Two Receivers" and "Gravity's Rainbow." For whatever reason, "Golden Skans" seemed a bit off.
MP3: Klaxons - As Above, So Below (buy it)
I have never seen Studio B so packed. Too packed, I'm sure well beyond Fire Marshall limits. This made for an exciting show, but forget try to maneuver anywhere in the club. Audience and band fed off each others energy, making for a great show, even from the back. But the crowd was full of wankers too. Especially near me. There was some dude in a white tshirt and his candycane-striped hoodied girlfriend who, when they weren't mocking the band, stood yelling at each other with their back to the band. Why go to show if you've already made up your mind you don't like them? Stay home.
Brazilian openers Bonde Do Role didn't impress. Like with Girl Talk, it's fun to play spot-the-sample (AC-DC, the Grease soundtrack, the Darkness) but the Run DMC beats and too-shouty vocals did nothing for me. Maybe if I knew what they were saying.
Image swiped from Rachaelus' Flickr photostream.