Live Music + Gig Reviews

Loose Cannons @ Ten Room, London

22 October 2003

The drinks at the Ten Room in London must surely have been spiked with large quantities of LSD in order to explain the crazy, psychedelic experience that was the Loose Cannon’s exclusive gig at this plush, purple venue in London.

The gig, which was performed to a largely industry crowd, was to promote the band’s dbut single Superstars. Anyone who listens to London-based radio station XFM on a regular basis will be familiar with the acid-coated tune, which sounds like Prince performing vocals with Massive Attack. Fans of the song will not have been disappointed with its live rendition nor indeed the rest of the material which blended funk, dub, ska-punk, psychedelia and trip-hop, with a bit of ’80s style.

When the seven-piece band burst on to the stage with enough energy to rival a breakdancer on speed, the too-cool-for-school crowd was forced to stop melting into the comfy velvet seating and take notice. Opening with a powerful psychedelic funk number, the frontman’s falsetto vocals made Tim Burgess‘s Curtis Mayfield impersonation look like poor man’s karaoke. This man knows how to deliver a funk vocal – expect endless Prince comparisons in the rest of the music press.

The band’s live show is not just about the music – this is a carefully constructed live operation with a level of theatrics that is sadly absent from a lot of gigs where musical quality counts. The camp factor was also high, with the two female backing singers who looked like they had just walked off the set of Robert Palmer‘s Addicted to Love video, and the way the white-suited frontman writhed and leapt around the stage using every ounce of his sexuality.

The buzz surrounding the Loose Cannons is similar to the feel carried by Detroit band Electric Six, when they first appeared on the scene with Danger! High Voltage. Although musically very different, both acts have a unique sound delivered with a lot of camped-up style. While Electric Six succeeded in impressing London’s trendy media set with their first two singles, they now look in danger of fading into the background.

The Loose Cannons could run the risk of a similar fate if they are both considered and marketed as a novelty act, which would be a great pity as they are one of the most eclectic and electric new bands to emerge this year. Let’s hope that their debut single Superstars helps to turn them into… Superstars.

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Loose Cannons @ Ten Room, London