Saturday, 8 March 2008

gig: the kills at the ICA, 3rd march


'One-Trick Two-Hander'

Instead of a support act The Kills give us ‘Red Meat Heart Cinema’; amongst reels of Velvets, Stones and Patti Smith Group footage we’re shown some heavy rock by guys in t-shirts and shorts who couldn’t give a shit; watching the cripplingly self-aware arty pretender crowd nod along like they feel the same way is hilarious.

The Kills aren’t as good as the royalty they’re claiming descent from, but they use a classic conceit when putting on a show: as the gig gets hotter they move their mics to face each other, inspiring those ripples of ‘are they, aren’t they?’ through the titillated audience. VV’s a gorgeous sex kitten but after seeing The Kills a few times the trick’s less potent; Hotel doesn’t even beat her to the floor with white noise this evening (a spectacle far better than any sample clip you’ll find on the net).

Songs from ‘Midnight Boom’ exhibited tonight are tight and convulsive but (certain crafty beats aside) for the most part do little to distinguish the gig from ones they played years ago. No-one covers The Kills; some say that’s because they don’t write songs but just soundtrack their pornographic exclusivity. Exceptional new song ‘Last Day Of Magic’ tears up that criticism this evening. The big redhead in a leather jacket stood next to me would tell you the best thing about it is that it’s inspired by Dostoevsky, but the best thing is if you took tonight’s aesthetic away and were left with Hotel playing it in shorts it would still be a fucking great song.

'Last Day Of Magic' - The Kills

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