CHOICE: Carrion up the charts

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The Independent Culture
If you want to be in a hugely successful rock band, it doesn't hurt to have a planet-sized ego capable of giving a darn good interview. And Chris Robinson, lead singer of American rocksters the Black Crowes (below), is mouth-on-a-stick par excelle nce. In a recent interview, he dismissed almost all his contemporaries - including such luminaries as guitarists Peter Buck from REM and Edge from U2 - saying they were unfit to play a 12-bar blues on the same stage as his band. When the poster for the C rowes' latest LP Amorica, featuring tufts of female pubic hair ill-covered by a stars-and-stripes bikini, was banned by London Underground, Robinson retaliated: "It's the ultimate feminist statement.'' Hmm. But whatever else you say about them, the Crowe s walk the talk - living on the road, gargling Bourbon, eulogising marijuana and playing Deep Southern electro-boogie like there's no yesterday. They first entered the rock stratosphere in 1992 with an indecently funky cover of Otis Redding's "Hard to Ha ndle'' and they've barely stopped playing since; their current world tour is expected to gross around $15m. The London gig at the Royal Albert Hall this weekend will showcase their expertly kicking sound: tighter than Robinson's drainpipes, and altogethe r more fragrant.

Royal Albert Hall, SW7 (071-589 8212) 7.30pm Sat-Sun £14/£12