Under the London Bridge train tracks stirs a mythical beast- the beat, 'new rave'. Another year, another spurious media construct. As those who declare themselves thus seldom are, it's neither new nor rave. But there's a certain primeval transcendence in using kick drums as melodic instruments, an everlasting primal melody, wood on taught skin. Anyway, it's nothing new; the beat is entwined with popular culture and the kids are always going to dance. They've been in bed together, forever.
It's obvious which bands benefit from the 'new rave' tagline. Foals are all brilliant sideways guitars and bent double like beggars dancing, permanently in danger of snapping under the strain of their own rhythm. Post-new rave (oh dear), if you will. The Sunshine Underground merge recycled Northern offbeats and cowbells with that Zeppelin eunuch howl, and put on a real show. By rights this genre should be dead, but when pulled off with this panache it's surely proof we're all shoegazers but some of us are looking at the stars.
Enter Neil's Children, the permanent outsiders. Appropriately brooding like goths at a disco, they made instant horse flies of the good vibes. Musically and visibly they're decades apart from the glow stick wavers fuelled by em-de-em-a and daddy's bank balance (Neil, presumably, is skint). Each song is so dark you can't see to the bottom even held up to the brightest disco lights and, to a man, the audience was lost. There is nothing to dislike, but they once fed a mutual friend's hamster coke at one of his house parties...
After a new rave sit down, the Art Brut misfits returned. Although they've been quiet for a while, you knew they're bound to reappear stronger and more infectious; a Jarvis with bird flu. Eddie Argos is, as ever, the consummate mouthpiece for all our adolescent meanderings. I've been twenty for two months now, and it's not little compliment I'm beginning to miss perfectly understanding Art Brut more than I do so the Ramones.
Robots in Disguise were in the Mighty Boosh once, y'know. Two pretty girls + a pretty good idea = cynical indiebeat at its ridiculous best. It was lost on me until their You Really Got Me cover; they might aswell play Rimbaud or Baudelaire or Shelley for all anyone here will ever care. Tonight, a programmed drum pattern that can move your feet is above anything that could move your head. When we're all dancing to the same beat nothing else seems to matter. Like the entire evening they're a certain victory, though for what I'm not quite sure...