Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Raconteurs

By contrast with the Fratellis, such is the hype surrounding The Raconteurs that the festival organisers really had little option but to give them a headline slot. But anyone who thinks they have come to see some wierd kind of Detroit vanity project is in for a surprise, because as a band the Raconteurs gel together really well. Too well, in fact. For example, 'Blue Vein' becomes an extended jam, for no good reason other than to show off some superb lighting and to remind the audience just how close to bedtime it is.

Unexpectedly, it is Brendan Benson, not Jack White, who seems to be in charge of the whole thing, proving himself a surprisingly charismatic frontman. He needs to be, because the other deficiency in the Raconteurs set is their lack of songs. This leads not only to an eclectic mix of cover versions, from Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" to "Teenage Kicks", but also to them stealing the Pixies trick of playing one song ("Store Bought Bones") twice, only at different tempos.

Very much still a work in progress, the Raconteurs entertained in places, but on the whole failed to live up to their headline status.


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