Les Savy Fav, Electric Ballroom, London
Wednesday 24 November 2010
"This is a concert," Tim Harrington reminds us, "and we're going to smash this room to ashes." The singer has already abandoned his unhealthy looking vest to the crowd, the nipple peepholes he gnawed in it earlier maybe adding to its attraction. He's bald and bearded, the roll of fat around his stomach suggesting just the right amount of appetite.
Peering down on us like a benign ogre, he reminds us of our good fortune. "Sometimes you have to see Kings of Leon..." Instead of which we have this tireless showman, who improbably somersaults into the crowd, in sync with his band Les Savy Fav's tumbling tune "Sleepless in Silverlake". His boots miss every head, in a miracle of mutual self-preservation.
This is exactly what everyone has come here for. In the 15 years since they met at art school in Rhode Island, Les Savy Fav have forged a reputation where little less than a razed room will do. They have been key, cult figures in their adopted Brooklyn home as it became America's alternative rock hotbed, and massively influenced Bloc Party here. Tonight's song titles – "Excess Energies", "The Sweat Descends" – describe the hard partying they stand for.
Harrington is, of course, always the centre of attention, as sweat pours down his mighty back as he dangles head-first from rigging he's just fearlessly scaled, or he changes into a checked kaftan and wig to resemble a leprechaun bandido. But in keeping with the values of Les Savy Fav's post-hardcore punk pop music, this just means his constant commitment is at the band's core. He understands the spectacle and ritual of rock'n'roll shows. Most importantly, he knows they are democratic. During "Equestrian", he becomes a centrifugal force that pulls in the whole crowd around him, touching and talking to them, leaving delighted grins in his wake. It's been a happy, mature wild night.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey film stills
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps
50 Shades of Grey movie trailer declared sexy and sexist on Twitter
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia