The Dead Weather, HMV Forum, London

4.00

Jumping Jack's alive and kicking

In the school of rock, Jack White would surely be head prefect. His insatiable appetite for extra-curricular activities has seen him collaborating with Alicia Keys for the theme of Quantum of Solace, Electric Six, Loretta Lynn, and Brendan Benson for the Raconteurs. But White's latest outfit, the Dead Weather, sees perhaps his darkest incarnation yet: the Mr Hyde to the Raconteurs' Dr Jekyll – a brooding, foot-stomping, gothic channel for his multifarious talents. Beneath this White Stripe is a darker core.

The band – comprising Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Queen of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita and Raconteur Jack Lawrence – sees White retreating to the drums and Mosshart commanding the crowd on vocals.

This show is the last of their UK dates in support of debut album Horehound and follows a sell-out gig at Brixton Academy. The Dead Weather come on to an eerie backdrop that suggests a spider's web radiating from what looks like a ghostly pelvic bone, the bass drum illuminated by a solitary candle. It's an aesthetic that purveys the band's gothic blues sound. Given the cherry-picked line-up this could easily be an exercise of style over substance, but pleasingly isn't – Horehound has been generally well received.

They launch straight into album opener "60 Feet Tall", Mosshart prowling the stage like a caged panther followed by a single blue light as the twang of Fertita's guitar and the singular thump of the bass drum give way to the swamp-rock chorus.

Two new songs follow, all pounding drums and grinding riffs, but it's not until the masquerading frontman emerges from the back for vocals on the second that the crowd really gets going, with Mosshart retreating to the tambourine, her panther recoiling to an alleycat.

But then Jack's back again, orchestrating the snaking voodoo blues of "So Far from Your Weapon" from the drums like a shaman, lest we forget that this is first and foremost his side-project. Mosshart's vocals whirl from syrupy to screeching, her slight frame bent double backwards. The pace quickens with the syncopated "Hang You from the Heavens" and it's only at this point that she is obscured by the rest of the band, captivating the crowd in all but voice.

The album is played out in its entirety with the exception of the instrumental "3 Birds", peppered with new tracks that the band have been writing while on the road. The psychedelic rock "Jawbreaker" was apparently finished this very morning and has the crowd in thrall, building up into such a frenzy that at one point Mosshart – like a cat fighting for its kill – yanks the mic lead across the stage with such force that it disconnects.

It's swiftly plugged in and normal service resumes as the two vocalists sidle up to one another to share the microphone for the pseudo-dirge "Will There Be Enough Water". It's the first time you get to see the curiously endearing dynamic between them that you don't necessarily hear on the album. They come back on to an encore of the rabble-rousing "Treat Me Like Your Mother", which has White channelling Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha for the chorus while simultaneously thrashing the cymbals. They finish on an explosive cover of Bob Dylan's "New Pony" (from his 1978 album, Street-Legal), then come to the front for an uncharacteristically demure collective bow. It all feels over too soon, with the crowd baying for more from the straight-A student and his peers.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test