The Dandy Warhols, Academy, Glasgow
Wednesday 26 October 2005
Looking at their relative success on both sides of the Atlantic should tell its own story. In the UK, where even our most otherworldly rock stars are the sort of people you would not be surprised to see sitting in their local pub with a pint of bitter, The Dandy Warhols' pouting, sexual, enigmatic approach has made them cult stars.
Back home in America, however - surely the nation which contains more eccentrics who have achieved success in popular music than any other - they barely register at all. The likes of The White Stripes may have come to Britain, made a name for themselves updating the styles of the past, and returned home to a hero's welcome, yet The Dandy Warhols have found the street to be a one-way. But they're a pretty decent pop band, and one which offers a rewarding hour and a half's entertainment.
In contrast to the frequent onstage nudity of her younger days, the keyboard player, Zia McCabe, keeps her top on, but she's about the only member of the band who does. The singer, Courtney Taylor, whips his off at the earliest opportunity and poses like a catwalk model, giving several hundred little indie girls palpitations. Really, this is the core of their appeal - where the set doesn't possess the instant pop allure of "Bohemian Like You" or "Boys Better", they fall back on giving good face and letting it carry them through.
In this respect, The Dandy Warhols resemble more of a manufactured band than a classic rock outfit. Their attraction should come from the fact that they're prodigiously talented and not the other way around. Slick but uneventful covers of AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" and The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" pay testament to the fact that referencing their elders and betters doesn't necessarily mean they've learnt this lesson from them.
Hammersmith Palais, London, tonight
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