INTERVIEW

“Football and music: up there with water and oxygen, some might say. So it seems only fitting that the nation’s brightest young things are in town on the same day Manchester United are presented with the league trophy. Unfortunately, it means that lager-filled, anthem-chanting Mancunians are the order of the day and, having rolled straight […]

“Football and music: up there with water and oxygen, some might say. So it seems only fitting that the nation’s brightest young things are in town on the same day Manchester United are presented with the league trophy.

Unfortunately, it means that lager-filled, anthem-chanting Mancunians are the order of the day and, having rolled straight out of the pub and into
The Ritz, Twats with Flags soon become Twats with Glowsticks. Add this to the fact that there’s been a massive ticket cock-up forcing hoards of
revellers to wait outside in the rain – with many being turned away altogether – and you’re left with a crowd lairier than a Gallagher family
wedding.

Luckily, Shy Child remain blissfully ignorant of any hooliganism as a Mexican wave of “Who are ya?”s erupts and then quickly fizzles out during the first 20 seconds of ‘Drop The Phone’. Despite not having enough members for a game of five-a-side, it feels as if the New York pair put out as much electro-heavy noise as a full band. Undeniably tight, Fab Moretti-impersonating drummer Nate Smith’s beats are relentless as they
are loud, and with synth-wizard Pete Cafarella on keytar/vocal duties, the crowd are soon tapping their day-glo trainers, and by latest offering
‘Noise Won’t Stop’, The Ritz’s former ballroom spring-loaded dancefloor is given a thorough workout. The set feels unusually short – clocking in at little over 20 minutes – but with more or less every song a winner, nobody seems to mind. The kids are alright.

Having played a matinee show less than five hours earlier, you’d forgive Klaxons for being inevitably just a tad knackered. Wrong. “If you ain’t from Manchester, you’re not comin’ in” bellows bassist Jamie Reynolds as the band launch into ‘The Bouncer’ in an explosion of beer and blinding
lights.

Reynolds and his band of neon men have been inadvertently hailed as the poster boys of new rave since the release of last year’s ‘Atlantis To Interzone’ but aside from the shifty-looking pill-pushers weaving their way through the crowd this evening, there’s no sign of the strobe lights and luminous jumpers of yore. Instead, what you get is a band who give off enough energy to power a small housing estate with shamelessly catchy
tunes and stick-in-your-head choruses. Having just announced drummer Steffan Halperin as a permanent member of their ranks, it’s clear that the emphasis tonight is on noise, fun and – judging by the multi-coloured ‘Klaxons are Kunts’ T-shirts on sale – not taking yourself too seriously.

In spite of their meteoric rise to notoriety, it’s clear that audience dedication is the word of the day – with demos and lesser-known album
tracks ‘Hall Of Records’ and ‘Totem On The Timeline’ deemed just as dance-worthy as the more radio-friendly ‘Golden Skans’ and ‘Magick’.
As with most bands who haven’t graduated with honours from the post-millennial Pete’n’Carl School Of Indie, half-hearted musical categorisations can act as a curse rather than a blessing, and after the shambolic, guitar-wielding brilliance of ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, you start to
wonder about the level of lazy journalism required to champion a band whose foray into the world of rave extends about as far as a pre-programmed keyboard function.

Ultimately though, this is a band that have to be seen live to be believed. Riots erupt during their frantic, screeching cover of ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ with bodies flying through the air at light speed, and closer ‘Four Horsemen of 2012’ simultaneously provides both a dance-off and a singalong loud enough to rival the crowd at Old Trafford. Who cares about genres? Long may they continue.”

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