Saturday, March 12
Named after a violent Chinese uprising in 1900, The Boxer Rebellion marry together the worst parts of Kasabian and the Cooper Temple Clause, but without any of the swaggering cool of either.
Whereas Kasabian are your older brothers mate that you’d quite like to cop off with, The Boxer Rebellion are the geeky kid at school who tries a little bit too hard to be accepted.
Worryingly, the scarf wearing singer resembles a hairier version of Simon, the monkeyfaced presenter of Channel Four’s Pop World.
Each song merges into each other forming a stodgy soup of mediocrity. Time passes slowly. Very slowly.
They laboriously plod their way through their set to supreme indifference from the crowd apart from one overly-enthusiastic middle aged man. He’s probably one of their dads.
A career in the removal business beckons
Dogs are a more interesting proposition. “Wotcha” offers frontman Johnny Cooke by way of a greeting “Nobody says wotcha anymore”.
He’s a lankier, more humble and laid-back Johnny Borell, but sullies his image by wearing a crap scarf. The guitarist on the other hand would clearly like to be a member of AC/DC and obviously wouldn’t be caught dead in such a garment.
They’re still raw and rough around the edges but offer up glimpses of something potentially special on tracks like blistering break up anthem 'She’s Got A Reason', where Cooke screams “I liked you better when you liked me as well"....
On the night of the scarf, Raveonettes frontman Sune Rose Wagner bucks the trend by sporting a natty neckerchief.
Although the personnel of the Danish band number five, it is the duo of Wagner and blonde bombshell Sharin Foo that form the core of the group.
Foo exudes a casual air of detatched cool and icy Nordic aloofness, whether playing guitar, tambourine or even when brandishing a pair of oversized orange maracas as during ‘Veronica Fever’.
When it’s followed up with ‘Do You Believe Her?’ the set begins to build. However, by concentrating too much on tracks from their slightly disappointing second album ‘Chain Gang Of Love’ rather than debut ‘Whip It On’, they aren’t able to deliver the killer knockout punch.
The five musicians create an impressive wall of lo-fi rock noise but you get the feeling that they are holding a little something back.
It is only for the encore that the they cast off their restraint, playing three songs back to back without a pause, including ‘Attack Of The Ghost Riders’ and the closing stomp through ‘Beat City’.
On a night when nothing is original and everything is a version of something else, Dogs take the victory by at least manage to offer up something that you could, at a push, get excited about.