- The M.E.N. reviews last night's Manchester gig: POOR little Carl Barât: always the consummate professional but constantly the runner-up to his former band mate, Pete Doherty, in the popularity stakes. If Pete was John Lennon, Carl would be… well… Ringo. And yet, his post-Libertines band, Dirty Pretty Things, can still pack them in on a night when the inexplicably popular Pigeon Detectives begin their two-night assault on Manchester. Which is good news, especially when you’re pushing that difficult sophomore record. You could put the petit frontman in your top pocket, but Barât packs confidence like Pavarotti packed pounds. And so he doesn’t shy away from the challenge of something new, surging on stage to Buzzards And Crows - one of Romance At Short Notice’s biggest rule breakers with its Captain Beefheart angularity.
The shrieking high-camp of Hippy Son and chunky, Kooks-like country rhythms of Plastic Hearts set the tone for the new record loudest, as well as the rehashing of vitriolic b-side Chinese Dogs.
But they also outline the dichotomy of this band. In the studio, the quartet have always sounded like well-mannered London geezers, knitting a few nice riffs together for the weekend knees up. Live, the only suggestion of gentility is Barât’s Wildean locks. Equipment Guitarist Anthony Rossomondo is deliciously badly behaved, sending his equipment hurling into the crowd, while drummer Gary Powell spiritedly takes it out on his kit and bassist Didz 'The Moustache' Hammond howls his harmonies with preacher-like enthusiasm. On stage is where you get the chance to really fall in love with the Dirty Pretty Things, then: the artful dodger cheekiness of The Wondering, the Libertines hang-over of Doctors & Dealers, the Cockney overtures of Last Of The Small Town Playboys and the Wire-esque disjointedness of The Enemy all find their energy here. Their delivery – with business-like accuracy, but one that ends in the trashing of the boardroom and someone eating the flip charts - even dwarf big singles Deadwood and Bang Bang (You’re Dead). Which speaks volumes about the band’s live credentials, but could leave Romance At Short Notice sounding a little sterile by comparison.
- And the Daily Star (FFS!!!) reviews Romance:
OUR track by track guide to the band’s second album, out June 30 - a love song to Britain in all its grim and gritty glory.
BUZZARDS AND CROWS: Opener paints a grisly scene of city life. HIPPY’S SON: Swaggering guitars, shouty verses and made-for-radio chorus. PLASTIC HEARTS: Singalong quality of an Oasis classic. Next single? TIRED OF ENGLAND: The first single and stuffed with trademark horns and jaunty guitars. COME CLOSER: Swoonsome ballad so romantic it should come with a free red rose. FAULT LINES: Acoustic number about a relationship going down the pan. KICKS OR CONSUMPTION: The love child of Franz Ferdinand and Klaxons as raised by DPT. BEST FACE: Bounce-defying barnstormer about a gal with “the best face in the place, the lip gloss and the grace”. TRUTH BEGINS: Chanty middle eight that’ll go down well at festivals. CHINESE DOGS: Rowdy, booze-sodden anthem. THE NORTH: Delicate, string-laced ballad. BLOOD ON MY SHOES: “You reach for the sedative but it’s never enough” and “There’s blood on my shoes because of you”. Is that an ode to Pete and Amy?
A few comments on both articles on my behalf:
- If I hear another journo calling Carl Barat "poor little Carl" I scream. Carlos is neither poor neither little. I wish I was poor and little as he is.
- And the Beatles comparison is utterly stupid. Ringo has never done anything on his own, apart from some silly songs written by other people soon after the breakup. If I were Carlos I would be terribly offended. Peter = John, Carl = Ringo? Jesus, give the man at least some George Harrison credibility, if anything.
- Ouch. All the songs listed as "love inspiring" are from Waterloo.
- Which leads us to the last sentence. I'm afraid "sterile" was the first word that came to my mind when I heard both Tired of England and Hippy Son. But there are other 10 songs that I haven't heard yet (in the final version). I hope they are less "sterile". I hope.
- As for the other article... no, I don't comment stuff from The Daily Star. Sorry.