Monday, November 14, 2011

concert review: The Horrors in Lido, Berlin

On sunday I saw the Horrors, and I'm sorry to say that it was quite a disappointment. I'm probably partly responsible for this, because I expected something like their debut album Strange House, the thrilling tongue-in-cheek faux-garage-goth I enjoyed so much when it started to be visible on YouTube (one of my favorite way to discover new bands, always more interesting live than in studio) and didn't listen to the following albums. 

Well this is not the same band obviously, not the same music, not the same spirit - the musicians look bored - not the cool blasé look of wannabe idols they sport on earlier videos, but more going-to-the-factory-to-earn-the-daily-bread bored. Most of the audience was bored too actually, if you except a bunch of drunk over-excited teens who could have been in front of Justin Bieber (to be honest, I don't know Justin Bieber's music, I just noticed his hairdo on top of pimpled faces), bawling the single's words. The music is mostly layers of synths with cheesy factory sounds covering the rest (but the drummer - Spurgeon was super sharp and prevented me from falling asleep).

Badwan's voice matured nicely and he has now some late Peter Murphy vibes, but with their current music it's just a waste. At some point I realized with horror that this music reminded me one of the worst band I've ever heard: Simple Minds! At least when Kaiser Chiefs are pillaging the Boomtown Rats, they have the good taste to steal interesting music. Only the last song was a little bit exciting, with a chaotic and noisy guitar and a long crescendo, but I felt too frozen to enjoy it, it was too late. No songs from Strange House, no Sheena is a Parasite, no She's the New Thing, alas...

Let's still talk guitars: Hayward plays Jazzmasters and Jaguar - Fenders and an unidentified copy - and a AFS Ibanez semi-hollow (with tape on the headstock, maybe Ibanez isn't cool enough, but for me their semi-hollows are highly desirable), and plenty of effects. Webb plays a precision bass with a cool metal pickguard - I liked him much better playing organ and leaving bass work to Cowan and his Dan'o Longhorn... If someone's interested, here is a pic of Hayward's pedalboard. 

They could have been cult, they will just be successful, the Horrors have lost their mojo!

1 comment:

  1. I saw The Horrors several years ago supporting The Jesus & Mary Chain at The Brixton Academy in London. I thought they were hysterically funny and I laughed throughout their performance, probably much to the confusion of the young bored-looking fans in the audience.

    They were so contrived, I couldn't help laughing. A bunch of kids pretending they were Bauhaus. Their set ended with the singer taping off the front of the stage in the manner that the police will tape off an area around the scene of a crime. As I said, hilarious, they I'm sure that wasn't their intention.


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