Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Razorlight/Sin-é/Sept. 21, 2004

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004

Imagine seeing Maroon 5 play in a club the size of your apartment. That’s the only way I can think of describing to America what the Razorlight show was like last night. In the U.K., this quartet of greasy boys are bigger than fish-n-chips, with a million-selling debut album, massive radio and TV exposure and reams of positive press. OK, so maybe the Maroon 5 analogy doesn’t completely fit, but in Britain, frontman Johnny Borrell’s mug is as ubiquitous as that damn “This Love” song. Their record isn’t due out in the states until late October; hence, any time I mentioned the band to one of my friends, the response went something like, “Rays of Light?” or “Oh great, another British group that named itself by smooshing two words together like Coldplay or Radiohead.” But that will probably change once the Universal Records press machine gets cranking over here.

Razorlight were a lot better live than on their record, which sounds like the Libertines and/or the Strokes imitating Television. (Uh oh, I’m gonna get in trouble. Their publicist told me that they hate getting compared to the Libertines. Sorry, guys—it’s true!) Part of their charm lies in the fact that their drummer looks like John Kerry and their bassist looks like Kurt Cobain, so the thought of those two jamming together is pretty fucking hilarious. Also, both the drummer and Johnny Borrell have that ‘60s Rod Stewart haircut that mysteriously is always in fashion. John Kerry with Rod The Mod’s hair? Oops, I think I just peed my pants laughing. Can somebody photoshop that image for me, please?

But seriously, these kids are still hungry enough to put every ounce of energy into their set, and they turned mediocre songs into barnstormers through sheer force of will. Johnny Borrell may seem to go to the same dentist as Shane MacGowan, but when he took his shirt off near the end of the set, he was not at all bad to look at. Dude must do something about the musical-theater hand gestures he kept using while singing, but, hey, he’s young. Also—was it really necessary for him to change guitars three times a song? It’s not like he’s in Sonic Youth or something. I started to feel sorry for the poor roadie.

I skipped out on any post-show industry schmoozing so I could mosey on over to East Williamsburg for…