Do believe the hype!

Review by Lucy Hayes

This review concerning one of the hottest bands of the moment was kindly submitted to the pages of Indielondon by Lucy Hayes. Feel free to do the same, whether gigs inspire, disappoint, or simply bring out the wordsmith in you. We look forward to receiving your views....

A STROKE of luck is what my presence at the infamous Strokes gig on March 29th, 2002 at Brixton Academy can be described as, considering tickets were like gold dust and that I dizzily lost me ticket! Either donating it, unsuspecting, as a South flyer to an extremely jammy fan or dropping it and ditto!

However, after much shenanigans outside the Academy, I miraculously got a free ticket off a majorly inebriated blokie who'd successfully got ejected before he'd bypassed the bodyguards at the door!

So I was completely ecstatic to join the masses, literally as the lights were dimming and the atmosphere was electric for a truly acclaimed night. This was to be the second time I'd see the Strokes and more special in an intimate-sized venue - the first being at Reading 2001 when, due to their rising popularity, they were moved from the Radio One tent to the massive main stage.

The hour-long set kicked off with the excellent 'The modern age,' the album's opening track with rocky up-tempo bass from fraiture and guitar solos from Valensi and Hammond Jr. The diverse crowd of muso- industry types, retro dressers, teenyboppers, trendy twenties+ and mainstream music appreciators collectively responded with enthusiastic leaps which spread through the venue like waves.

The well-recognised and mellow 'Soma' followed, the lyrics (as in all the songs) seeming to question the band's lives, loves and feelings from home New York. The contemplative and slow building with a Wannadiesish intro album title track 'Is this it' reflecting this and 'Alone, Together.'

The classic 'Last Night' was pulsatingly mind-blowing and shouted back at Casablancas whose distinctive sultry New York drawl perfectly accentuated the track, whilst Fab in true rock 'n' roll stylee swandived into the crowd, his zany hairdo silhouetted by the subtle lighting!

'New York City Cops' revealed more moody vocals and tone with diverse guitar playing intercepted by a cheery repetitive chorus. 'Someday' had a cheery and melodic upbeat feel throughout, 'Hard to explain' was intensely rocky and by the time the shouty anthemic 'Take it or leave it' came on, the crowd definitely didn't wanna leave, well aware they'd participated in a true rock 'n' roll revival which was purely a stroke of genius!

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