Live Music + Gig Reviews

Death From Above 1979 + The Rogers Sisters @ Mean Fiddler, London

23 August 2005

Central London is a dangerous catwalk this evening. The pavementalongOxford Street is nigh on impassable with swaggering losers, impatientcommuters and clueless tourists. Droves of buses and taxis floor itlike boyracers while killer cyclists seem even more bloodthirsty this evening.

Youfeel relived to have survived when you turn the corner to the MeanFiddler.Then another catwalk-cum-identity parade greets you. Fashion victims,metallers, old timers and the odd suit – a true enough example of thekindof crowd Death From Above 1979 can umbrella.

The Rogers Sisters do their best to warm the former with areasonablehalf hour of bubble gum garage rock. Much of this consisted of moderaterotation between B52s and Von Bondie-styled bouncysounds.Despite relocating to New York’s ultra hip Williamsberg neighbourhood,theydon’t seem quite ready to drop the classic Detroit sound most Detroitbandscarry when starting out. Given that the garage rock train ship passedtheseshores a good couple of years ago, unless NY’s karma provokes a radicalchange, these Sisters are just gonna be chasing the tugboats.

The wall of sound DFA 1979 can generate out of two conventional liveinstruments, namely a bass guitar and a drum kit, is simply staggering.Wherever you happen to be standing, the sheer power of their sound canpretty much pick you up and hurl you around the venue, making TheWhiteStripes look and sound like The Carpenters.

And boy are they loud. We’re talking the big league here – TheMastodons, Slayers and Metallicas of this world. But ifyou’resuspect about the authenticity of what these two Canadians wereknocking outon tape then I implore you to witness the live feast. SebastianGraingerabuses his kit like a lunatic. At points its implausible how he seemstosustain the lung capacity to project his vitriolic vocals on song.

His cohort Jesse Keeler displays similar invulnerability to thehumanmetabolism, chucking himself about the stage like a raggy doll whilefuriously gorging on his four strings but with the nous of skilled leadguitarist. Like many a hardcore band the tightness of DFA 1979 as aunitmust be smiled upon, and in the case, not understated.

From the barrage that is Go Home, Get Down to the deliciously dirtyLittle Girl, each and every song of the hour is a seismic pleasure.Withprominent slots at Reading and Leeds this weekend and an extensivesupportslot for the Queens Of The Stone Age / Nine Inch Nails UStour, you’d be a fool to give them a miss. Be warned though. A seriousriskof tinnitus exists.

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