I had the pleasure of seeing the last date of the British leg of Art Brut’s world tour last night. Camden’s Electric Ballroom was at near capacity and both the crowd and Art Brut were in party mood on what has become an adopted home ground.
The last time I was in the same building it was to see, what turned out to be, The Birthday Party’s legendary final gig. Then, as now, the vocals were muffled and did not cut through as they should. However, I doubt if within two hours of howling Dead Joe or Hamlet Pow Pow Nick Cave was back on stage two miles down the road in glam rock make up.
Nick Cave is no Eddie Argos though. After an hour-long set (including encores) Art Brut decamped to Islington’s Buffalo Bar for an after show party featuring Eddie’s glamtastic Glam Chops plus a set from Keith Top of the Pops.
Eddie Argos’ wholehearted enthusiasm, energy and joie de vivre is wholly admirable. What he lacks in dulcet tones he makes up for with heartfelt, self-searching, questioning and occasionally hilarious lyrics, delivered in his spoken-word style with great confidence and bravado “yes, this is my singing voice”. He is a Jarvis for his generation (he’s in his late 20s).
I am unsure as to who Art Brut’s audience are. I get the feeling that they are not as well known/liked as they deserve to be. The current tour is in support of the recently released third album, Art Brut vs Satan. No discernable difference in formula from either of their first two, this suits me fine. I didn’t totally enjoy the extended version of my favourite track Slapdash for no Cash, but otherwise the gig can be considered a triumph ~ exhiliratingly enjoyable power pop. Having started with the new single Alcoholics Unanimous, they encored with the dual classics Formed a Band and Bang Bang Rock & Roll.
Tonight, Art Brut play in Brussels, the first of an intensive three week jaunt around Europe before spending most of June in the States. I hope they gather a legion of new fans.
For the uninitiated, Glam Chops are something of a glam supergroup, featuring The Vessel aka David Devant aka Mr Solo aka Mikey Georgeson and Tim Purr (GlamRacket’s resident DJ). I have sung their praises on pop Junkie before and will no doubt do so again. They played a brief, but joyous, set of fun-filled original glamthems including Are You Ready Eddie and the European Festivals. The campaign to have them represent Royaume Unis at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest gathers pace.