Bring Me Tea! Bring Me Coffee!
Academy 3, Manchester
Monday April 27th 2009
...So shouts Eddie Argos on Art Brutís latest single, Alcoholics Unanimous. Similarly, it is what many here will be shouting the morning after the bandís quite frankly riotous performance at Academy 3.
Argos and company have always been somewhat ignored by large portions of the UK (excepting that time Argos got into a fight with I-canít-even-remember-who and a well known music publication decided this was NEWS), despite writing album after album of anti-anthems for anyone who understands an awkward indie youth.
Inimitable and amusing lyrics aside, they are also the band it is practically impossible to watch sober. They seem to inspire drunkenness so much so that my fellow Motelier is shocked that Iíve taken on reviewing responsibilities tonight, informing me that I will not remember enough of it.
Opening with the aforementioned Alcoholics Unanimous, it is immediately clear that Art Brut donít need widespread acclaim. At least the front third of the crowd is already clamouring to cram as close to the band as possible. In fact, it doesnít take long before around 50% of the room has abandoned all sense of self and instead turned into a seething mass of shouting idiots. The song which is responsible is the marvellous (if somewhat frightening on a stalker level) Emily Kane.
Typically, Argos intersperses his anecdotal lyrics with minor additions: ď# I donít even know where she lives # Ė except thatís a lie. I do actually,Ē all of which the crowd finds highly amusing, whether they actually are or not. Itís all in that deadpan, unabashed tone of his, like heís confiding embarrassing secrets to us. Itís OK Eddie, weíve all been there. Or at least if we havenít, you make us feel as though we have.
The set is heavy on new material (with some of the 'Motel and Friends' delegation unhappy about the exclusion of 18,000 Lira and Formed A Band), but this does nothing to dampen the energy of the hyperactive crowd (though the sweat levels are definitely dampening clothes). The title track of record number three, Art Brut vs Satan, is already a classic with its self-deprecating cry of ď# The record buying public/We hate them! #Ē
DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake is possibly the geekiest thing the band have ever written, thus meaning it goes down incredibly well. To be honest the night begins to pass in a haze; a haze of grinning, of shouting lyrics, of starting chants ("Art Brut! Sex is on Fire!"), of forcing fellow Motel correspondents to crowd surf - generally, the kind of behaviour far more closely linked to the gig-going habits of this punter circa 2001.
It may be a rare occurrence now, but itís a lot of fun. Art Brut, Iíd like to thank you, for creating a live experience like no other without even needing to try too hard.
words: Hannah Bayfield
Art Brut vs Satan is out now on Cooking Vinyl.