Razorlight play nostalgic indie hits at Electric Brixton
Razorlight’s debut album Up All Night was the sound of Camden in the mid-noughties, with the undeniably great Golden Touch an earworm for about three years. Some bands from that era have evolved and stood the test of time (Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon) while a couple have aged very badly (here’s looking at you, Kooks. Who ever thought a man with the voice of a kazoo could have enjoyed such widespread success? Shudder).
Those were heady days. Remember nu rave? The British music scene was buoyant and alight, and Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell epitomised the days of excess before the global financial crash, with his over-the-top proclamations of being the best songwriter of his generation and penchant for riding about on a Harley Davidson like an unreconstructed 70s rocker. The British rarely, if ever, take to such flagrant grandiosity: sales dived with their third album and they took a ten-year hiatus, before returning at the end of last year with album Olympus Sleeping.
Sticking to the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, they sound as if the last ten years never happened, which is, in many ways, comforting. Now that a lot of music reflects the grim uncertainty of the times by using an aesthetic which can most accurately be described as listening to a cassette tape (Google it) being chewed up in slow motion by a cement mixer, there is much to be said for their straightforward, consummate indie rock.
Opening with an incendiary version of Rip It Up and crowd-pleaser In The Morning from their debut album, the band start with energy. A rendition of Golden Touch is a highlight. Vice and Don’t Go Back to Dalston (Up All Night) are dancefloor-ready, polished indie pop and take us back to their debut – especially the line “You’ve got a landline, but you never call”, which references one of the catchiest hooks they’ve produced, on Golden Touch. The set ends with America, which is as relevant as it ever was. It might not be experimental, but it entertains.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Razorlight’s website here.
Watch the video for Golden Touch here: