Cold War Kids @ The Academy

14 11 2008

Last week’s Cold War Kids gig at The Academy was predictably filled with the neon wayfarers brigade. Whatever, they’re unavoidable, I have faith that someday soon they’ll realise that they’re not MGMT. That aside, once the music started all eyes were firmly fixed on the stage and what followed was an obscure musical extravaganza that Cold War Kids have perfected to a tee. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to their new album, Loyalty to Loyalty, more than a handful of times so wasn’t over-familiar with some of the newer songs, but the band have an energy, or a ‘pull’ of some description, that makes it impossible to look away. Their playfulness and willingness to stretch traditional conventions of what a typical four piece should be is mesmerising. Rather than your standard set with a couple of guitar changes and maybe a foray onto the piano by the lead vocalist, they chop and change instruments with the energy of a 5 year old on blue Smarties, introducing a plethora of inanimate objects that suddenly transform into melodic instruments. And it all suddenly seems so simple – remember when you used to bang pots and pans together as a child and drop marbles into the sink just because you liked the sound of it? Ok maybe that last one was just me, but you know what I mean. At one point, Jonnie Russel bangs a drumstick against an empty wine bottle whilst a drum cymbal is haphazardly thrown on the floor and tossed like a frisbee as the crowd delight in the richness it adds to the beautifully off-key songs.

I’m not going to go through the set-list song by song because to be honest there’s no point, one song led excitedly into the next. Highlights for me were definitely the sublime Hospital Beds, latest single Something is Not Right with Me and encore St John but there was no particular ‘best song’.

Their ethos shows that music is there to have fun with and take delight in. Delight in discovering new sounds and new formations, not just sticking your standard ‘verse verse chorus verse bridge chorus’.
Throughout the whole gig, a bouncer resembling a bulldog stood arms folded at the front of the stage looking physically in pain. To me, he summed up the Cold War Kids – you either get it or you don’t.


Separated at Birth?

13 11 2008



Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Nathan Willett of the Cold War Kids… uncanny resemblance!!

4db5e62ac7f0affb8d73 nathan_willett1

Suggested Winter Gigging…

28 09 2008

Now that Summer Festival Season is nothing but a distant fond memory again, we are faced with a WHOLE BLOODY WINTER to get through before the madness starts again. Never fear, for those lucky enough to reside in the cosmopolitan metropolis that is Dublin city, there is a lovely little selection of winter gigs to choose from to warm your cockles and lift your spirits.

Jape – The Button Factory, 9th October. Richie Egan at his finest, promoting his latest endeavour, Ritual.

In The Country and Susanna (of Susanna and the Magical Orchestra) bring a Norwegian double bill to Whelans on Saturday October 25th. Check out her amazing cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. Possibly one of the most widely covered songs around yet, unlike most, Susanna does it justice. Check out this clip of U2 and Arcade Fire making a haimes of the song for easy comparisons on how to and how not to do an Ian Curtis impression.

Roots Manuva – 1st November, The Academy. London based rapper Roots Manuva brings his mix of dub/funk/ragga/hip-hop (!) to Middle Abbey Street. Expect a cult following.

Cold War Kids – The Academy, 5th November. I’ve been raging that I missed their Ambassador date in November ’07 for almost a year now. I won’t be making that mistake again, no sir-ee, uh uh. I suggest you don’t either.

Hot Club de Paris – The Button Factory, 8th November. I can’t recommend this Liverpool-based band more. A little bit indie, a little bit punk but also a little bit different to the usual blah blah indie-punk.

Bestival Reunion Tour feat. Florence & The Machine, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, DJ Yoda, 808 State and more – Tripod, Friday 14th November. Ahhh…. now this is the one that has me jumping up and down with excitement. 808 State, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip AND Florence and the Machine, all in one night!!! I’ve developed something of an obsession with young Florence since hearing her mind-blowing cover of the Cold War Kids song Hospital Beds – see clip posted a few weeks ago, fantastic stuff altogether.

If that’s not really your bag, you could hop, skip or jump down to Middle Abbey Street on the same night – November 14th – to indulge in a spot of dubstep. Benga plays Traffic as part of the Twisted Pepper line-up (formerly Bodytonic). Altogether now… be be be be boo boo boo boo……. 😉

Bon Iver – National Stadium, 3rd December. If you didn’t manage to get tickets for thew now sold-out Tripod show on the 7th October, then beg, steal or borrow a pair for Juston Vernon’s 3rd Irish date of the year.

So there you have it. For the time being. Ok so you’ll be poor. But we’re in the midst of a recession, you may as well be poor and happy.. and you don’t have to stand in a field.

Video Clips 🙂

Benga & Coki – Night

Cold War Kids dabbling in some pretty impressive instrumental ad-libbing…

Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip -Thou Shalt Always Kill