The Last Shadow Puppets, Guildhall, Portsmouth
Thursday 21 August 2008
"Thanks for 'avin' us, Portsmouth," says Alex Turner. "It's our first time." The string and brass sections glimpsed behind him like ballroom ghosts are enough to tell you the Arctic Monkeys' prosaic urban dreams have been briefly left behind. His new band with The Rascals' Miles Kane, The Last Shadow Puppets, instead attempts urbane sophistication on record. David Axelrod and Love's Arthur Lee are among its challenging models. But tonight's full debut unexpectedly harnesses this sound to driven rock'n'roll. The shrieking strings aren't prissy adornments, but aggressive implements in the service of the old-fashioned, four-piece beat group Turner and Kane lead at the front. The daring of their experiment is clarified thrillingly.
The Last Shadow Puppets' inevitable classification as a Turner side-project is deliberately challenged. Kane takes most of the lead vocals and electric guitar, his partner literally keeping his head down in acoustic, anonymous support. They wrote the album with the give and take of early Lennon and McCartney, so it's impossible to separate their contributions.
While other groups have settled for plain street tales in the Monkeys' wake, the trend's instigator has left them in the dirt. Yet on "The Meeting Place", there's a girl who, "the colder the night, the deeper she shaves". And even as "My Mistakes Were Made for You" lashes the John Barry and Beatles of 1964 together, another girl is "as subtle as an earthquake, with the filthiest of minds". These could be the same people from the same Sheffield streets as in any Monkeys song; played now, though, as femme fatales, by Forties movie stars.
Kane tries Ethiopian jazz guitar on "Hang the Cyst", and long psychedelic blues notes on "I Don't Like You Any More". Turner dominates just once, crooning "Time Has Come Again". When he announces, "We're the Last Shadow Puppets" halfway through, he seems only half-convinced, as if they're not quite a real band; certainly not his, as the Monkeys are. But their album's pastiche feel and noir misogyny has been replaced by celebratory, innovative swagger tonight. You can feel Turner and Kane stretching into new shapes. Compared to their plodding indie peers, what they will do next is thrillingly unguessable.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds