Pop: Look forwards in anger

60ft Dolls ICA, London

The 60ft Dolls' onslaught of gigantic riffs and filthy feedback has the energy of a split atom, but at the super-cool ICA the audience stands in huddles, curious rather than elated despite the Dolls' arrival to a funky blues tune galvanised by ear-bleeding guitar, the Blues Brothers on speed.

The new album, Joya Magica, pays homage to the concept of perfectly packaged pop tunes, with echoes of Oasis, Squeeze, James and House of Love. But these only get a token showing tonight. Instead, the live bait is anger, enough to get a pacifist grabbing the T-shirt of the person next to them and collapsing in a lager-strewn mess. The lack of energy from the floor sits oddly with the pirouettes and on-stage jumping about - it's like fascinated children watching the plastic ballerina dancing in the music box.

As they play the frantic "Eggshell" from the first album, you can see why the Dolls disappeared to tour America for almost two years just as they were being welcomed into the bosom of Britpop. Live, most Britpop bands sound like their records, but the Dolls bring their records to life. Rabble-rousing worked for the Sex Pistols because they had an anti-establishment message and the nihilism to provoke a passionate response. But the Dolls sing about universal experiences (relationships in "I Want You", changing seasons in "Summer Is Gone") with a strong narrative thread and philosophical questioning, giving their punky attitude an intellectual depth. Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix could indulge in teeth-baring guitar capering because they belonged to the rock club; the Dolls don't fit in quite so easily, and the ICA crowd didn't know how to equate their rock/punk attitude with their lads-and-lager British contemporaries.

Music comes pure with the Dolls, the guitar-driven love-fest rendering the lyrics irrelevant - and, mostly, inaudible. But, given the lack of crowd reaction, you can't blame them for running through their songs at such a speed that they pass by like trees through a car window. For the ICA audience, though, they are merely thought-provoking. The hits are there if you want, but would you want John Belushi to calm down and behave himself?

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
Angel Di Maria is shown the red card
tech
Sport
Roger Federer after his win over Tomas Berdych
sport
Life and Style
News in briefs: big pants in 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
fashionBig knickers are back
Sport
James Milner is set to sign for Liverpool this week despite rival interest from Arsenal
sportReds baulk at Benteke £32.5m release clause
News
The controversial Motor Neurone Disease Association poster, featuring sufferer Michael Smith, has drawn a series of angry complaints
newsThis one has been criticised for its 'threatening tone'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

    £100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

    £17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

    Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral