Dirty Pretty Things @ The Forum, Kentish Town, London
Hot on the heels of the Uni final examinations pain and torture came the perfect excuse to de-stress! Mr. Barat and his merry new band of talent took to the London stage and we were there to see it.
It was a thoroughly bemusing day, getting my US J-1 exchange visitor Visa for my exploits for the summer, 6 flipping hours in and out of the US Embassy. Managed to escape with limbs and sanity in tact. Still distractions apart the Forum is a great little venue, three tiered ground floor standing and a large balcony meant that it wasn’t that busy, and perfect views were had all round. Pre-gig me and Mr Flowers sat in a pub having random rabmlings in which the words “Wouldn’t it be great if it was the Paddingtons were support” uttered from Mr Flowers lips, which was met with a “huh! time for another beer me-laddo”.
The next beer was in fact to totally turn the evening on its head when I noticed the line-up plastered on the venue’s bar wall. The Young Knives, The Paddingtons. I could have eaten my hat if I had one, but instead decided to let jinx in on his incredible foresight skills and advised him to buy a crystal ball for more dramatic effect.
The Young Knives, After hearing some demos here and there I wasn’t wholly impressed with these guys and their image, 60’s geeks and braces did little to elevate this. Just as well they actually had some good songs. Quite poppy and some god vocal harmonies were the high points and edges tracks such as “Decision” was enough to sway my opinions for the greater good. A solid opening act who were deservedly 3rd on the bill.
The Paddingtons rocked up next and blasted into their punk pop crafty with energy and a slight wobble. Clearly under the influence, the lead singer did well to keep himself upright let alone get the crowd jumping and rock the house. The twin guitarists however had no problems in coordination and were on top form riffing manically over a deafening drum beat. This was the burst of energy the night needed and The Paddingtons delivered first class.
The crowd now getting a little frustrated after a 45 minute wait, a bottle thrown in the direction of the roadie who could very well be a descendent of Lion-O!! of which the owner was duely hunted down by bouncers and sat on. Not to disappoint the crowd Carl struts on stage with all the rock and roll coolness you would expect from an ex-libertine dressed in his usual leather jacket, Dirty Pretty Things then blast into the set as they plough straight into “Deadwood”, unadultered punk and bursting with tonnes of energy you cen see why the libertines were once the live band of choice. This pace and mentality did not let up with song after song of crowd scream-alongs you would have thought these were rock vets, rather than the new kids. Standout tracks were aplenty with the Bassists super vocals on “You Fucking Love It”, and the almighty “Blood Thirsty Bastads” worked the crowd to fever pitch. As things mellowed out mid-set only one thing was on the cards and it duly arrived. “Death On The Stairs” a libertine classic re-emerged in all of its former glory, the crowd was deafening and rocking the floorboards with relentless bouncing. After the onslaught of the rocking set a slow was initiated for the encore and a session track “France” cooled everyone and showed they don’t only rock but can also be mellow when put to the task. Finishing off the night was another classic Libs track “I Get Along” again greatly received by the crowd. But this was not a night of libertine former glory, this was Dirty Pretty Things and it was awesome!
The return of a modern hero? with Dirty Pretty Things and performances like these, Carl may just be able to return to the pinnacle of the British rock/indie scene.