Live Music + Gig Reviews

Razorlight @ Apollo, Manchester

14 March 2005

The stage lights came on, and a smattering of Chinese style partitions, some furniture and an abundance of greenery was revealed – it looked like British Sea Power had moved in. Johnny Borrell launched into the pleasingly simple chords of Rip It Up, his voice was in fine shape and the band performed a textbook, thunderous opener.

The crowd was unexpectedly varied, and everyone from that grey haired guy in the anorak to the generic tousled indie-poseur looked very pleased to see the Anglo-Swedish quartet.

Running through all the hits from Up All Night, there were really very few low points, it was a very professional performance indeed. Golden Touch got the whole crowd singing it back to Borrell with Vice gaining the biggest roar from the audience, and the most crowd-surfers of the evening. The encore saw Borrell solo for Fall, Fall, Fall and rejoined by Dalemo, Agren and Burrows for the frenzied climax of In The City and Stumble and Fall.

New single Somewhere Else was a genuine treat and in my opinion is at least the equal of anything they have already released. Other lesser known tracks such as Keep The Right Profile and Action! were also incorporated into the 90 minute set and were received well, which bodes well for the second album.

Have you heard this one? One girl says to the other: “I wonder what it would be like to sleep with a horse…”, to which she gets the reply “You tell me, you’re the Razorlight groupie…”. There were evidently a fair few adoring females about tonight judging by the screams as Borrell bounced around half naked for the most part of the gig. But Johnny’s more than a one trick pony and had a few more endearing stage tricks as well, such as taking Polaroid photos of the front rows and lobbing the prints into the crowd.

But I’m afraid tonight wasn’t without a few minor bloopers. Some nasty ear-splitting feedback from Borrell’s microphone wasn’t great, nor was the fact that we could hear the band talking backstage as the house lights came up – they sounded fatigued and oh so bored! Methinks eight months of touring the same fifteen songs must be taking its’ toll.

Lastly, I’m sure the vast majority of tonight was a great for anyone who hasn’t seen Razorlight before, but I’ve seen them three times. Maybe I’m spoiled, but the carefully orchestrated showmanship and the ordering of the setlist was very, very similar to the other two times I’ve seen them. Trying to avoid repeating the review of them at the Astoria back last summer took serious thought and in a perfect world that isn’t the way live music should be. By no means a bad gig, in fact most of it was really good – but just a little too dej-vu for this reviewer. Guys, it’s time to stop touring and get back in the studio.

buy Razorlight MP3s or CDs
Spotify Razorlight on Spotify

More on Razorlight
Razorlight – Slipway Fires
Razorlight @ Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading
Razorlight – Razorlight
Razorlight @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Razorlight @ Apollo, Manchester