Hurricane Astoria, London

Live review
Click to follow
The Independent Culture
The heroes of this year's Oscars were Bob and Harvey Weinstein, heads of the independent Miramax. Having backed such inspired, left-field movies as Trainspotting and Fargo, they ended up garnering more awards than all of the major Hollywood studios put together.

It could be said that Creation records are the Miramax of music. They gave us Primal Scream, one of the few white bands around with genuine soul. They backed Super Furry Animals, who have bypassed punk rock, all of the Eighties and most of the Nineties, to become one of the best bands in Britain. Their recent signing, Arnold, sound like Radiohead without the rough edges, while the phenomenal success and continued brilliance of Oasis prove that sometimes the people are right. And now Hurricane #1.

Admittedly, whenever Alan McGee signs a new band he says they're the best thing since Oasis, and it has to be said he doesn't always get it right (case in point: tonight's headliners, 3 Colours Red, look and sound like S*M*A*S*H's dads.) But Hurricane #1 are the real deal.

Formed by Ride songwriter and guitarist Andy Bell, they are a world away from the now defunct shoegazers. "Just Another Illusion" and "Mother Superior" are as dirty and as real as the Scream.

The debut single, "Step Into My World" is what is known in the business as a grower, but after three listens, it does - and how. The slightly awestruck little cousin of "Slide Away", it is very Oasis, from the soaring guitar to the lyric "I think we're dreaming the same dream". But then any guitar music post-Oasis is going to have to acknowledge their influence, just as boxing post-Muhammad Ali could never be the same again.

In 25-year-old ex-boxer Alex Lowe, Hurricane #1 have a frontman up there with Liam. Vocally, he sounds as resolutely true and unbeaten as Darkness on the Edge of Town-era Springsteen. Visually, he combines Springsteen's bulldog sexuality with the glamour of Flavor Flav at his most stoopid: strutting exaggeratedly around the stage in a shiny zipped up jacket, lying flat on the floor when he gets bored.

As with the young Springsteen, what takes it beyond traditional rock is that this paragon of working- class masculinity delivers such thoughtful words and music. Alex Lowe is a star. He clearly always was and always will be in his head, regardless of whether or not they make it. I'm inclined to believe the hype. Just don't mention 3 Colours Red.

Comments