Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Rapture @ Astoria, London

11 May 2004

Tuesday as the last night of a tour? Don’t make me laugh. The last night of a tour should surely come on a Friday or Saturday, giving audience and band a right royal knees-up and the opportunity to get smashed. But nope, this was a Tuesday, so no parties here then.

The Astoria, surely one the best venues in the country, was already rammed for the supporting act, Northern punk outfit, The Futureheads. It would be unfair and quite frankly far too easy to pass this bunch off as the title of the last song they played, Piece Of Crap, but their high energy antics mildly entertained rather than set the place alight.

It was just creeping towards 10 o’clock, and the restless audience was still being entertained by the now obligatory quid-a-go texting screen above the stage churning out such gems as “I fancy the girl with the pink hair” and “Keith is gay”, before The Rapture arrived to a great reception.

They slightly underwhelmed, though, with their first tune, a new one which very few in the audience recognised. Immediately, however, they launched into the “one two three…” of Heaven and we were all hooked – for the whole show.

By rights, The Rapture’s style is nearly incongruous. Their critically acclaimed first long player, Echoes nods to everyone’s current musical squeeze, The Cure, but marries that with acid house. It’s an interesting mix but boy, do they pull it off live.

Their obvious enjoyment of performing live is infectious and they are fascinating to watch. Luke Jenner on lead guitar and Mattie Safer on the bass share vocal duties whilst drummer Vito Roccoforte and saxophonist Gabriel Andruzzi mix up the synths and the beats between them.

The wiry, big haired Jenner popped off stage during the slowest number of their set, Open Up Your Heart, to fetch a large bunch of carnations which he duly chucked into the audience, sparking both a mad scramble and a mass sing-along.

Olio really got the party started with its driving bass drum, Safer moving onto the keyboards and intermittently making boxes with his hands as if he were in a house club – which, if you look around at the bouncing masses, I suppose he was.

Jenner’s voice unexpectedly held up live as well, and positively soared as Andruzzi to his right danced inexplicably while kicking the s**t out of a cow bell. Sister Saviour followed, a tune that could almost have been written for the Hacienda, and one that duly got everyone singing along.

The biggest cheer of the night predictably came for the last song of a short but hugely satisfying set, the awesome House Of Jealous Lovers. Balloons were released into the crowd as all hell broke loose.

The Rapture are a truly superb live act and know how to throw a great party and create that extra special atmosphere, even on a Tuesday. Catch them next time they are in town – whatever night they play.

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More on The Rapture
The Rapture @ 100 Club, London
The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
The Rapture – Pieces Of The People We Love
The Rapture @ Islington Academy, London
The Rapture: “It’s about loving, having a good time, and having a party” – Interview