Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Rapture @ The Astoria, 28/02/2007

The Rapture + Shitdisco @ The Astoria
28th February 2007

Shitdisco are a band premised on the regulation indie-disco formula, the twist being to crank the whole thing right up to a tempo somewhere in the range of ‘improbable’. Such speeds render dancing an increasingly tricky business until you realise you’re just hopping about feebly and making limp-wristed chopping actions because this is, in fact, happy hardcore, and for this genre above all others there is no excuse, even if it is wearing ironic trainers and ironic camouflage t-shirts and a slappable face full of irony. Those singles are damn fine though.

Off the back of a couple of albums which, let’s be fair, have a lot of tracks that sound a lot similar, The Rapture somehow pull together a set worthy of the title ‘Greatest Hits’. Every song seems classic and undiluted, especially in comparison to the countless copyist punk-funkers the band has inspired in the time since ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ first rocked my teenage world. The trademark cowbell appears within minutes, bringing with it an hour of riotous and very sweaty shimmying, not to mention the bonkers amalgamation of three of the worst ever Eighties musical fads: protracted saxophone solos, slap bass funk freakout and – truly – guitar tapping. Cha’mone. The super-glossy finish of new album Pieces of the People We Love gets stripped down for the live experience to something much more raw and uncivilised.

Suitably, a sizable jock contingent appears down the front, uniformly attired in polo shirts of varying stripage, shouting ‘U-S-A!’ and making a feeble yet irritating ‘moshpit’, as the kids used to say. They are swiftly dispatched by my pink raver’s whistle and a hundred sneering art-school kids. And perhaps their own realisation that nothing could be further from sexy New York disco-punk than a tin of Budweiser and a healthy tan.

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