Japandroids – Live at Heaven

As the title suggests, I saw Japandroids last week. It was a great concert; but what was strange about this gig was the venue, Heaven. It is a cool club off  the Strand which to me is an unlikely venue for Japandroids; they sold out and probably could have filled one of the academies given how full Heaven was. However, the where is admittedly fairly irrelavent. Live, Japandroids have a powerful positive vibe and you have to hand it to guitarist Brian King having the same amount of energy, if not more, as a much larger band. David Prowse was excellent too of course, but the man’s sitting down. Additionally, I wish the drum kit had been set up towards the centre of the stage so he could be easily seen but that’s splitting hairs. The sound was great overall, it’s always disappointing when bands sound exactly the same live as they do on the record but the noisy , garage influencesof Japandroids come through the clearest live. The selection of material played was well chosen – although I am a big fan there are still some tracks you want to hear more. BUT, here lies my only gripe: they covered Mclusky’s ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’. Why do bands do this? Mclusky need to be left to be exactly what they are. When Future of the Left play Mclusky songs it isn’t right and Falco wrote those songs. The sound of Japandroids does not lend itself to the bass heavy, abrasive, caustic attitude of Mclusky. This was not a good cover. That said, their own material was excellent, my favourite song was ‘Crazy/Forever’ but the work from the new album stood up really well too, ‘Night of Wine and Roses’ was also a lot of fun. Prowse has a huge voice live which I wasn’t expecting and King can really
get a crowd engaged and ensure a good time for all.

King pointed out that the band won’t be playing in London or the UK again for quite some time which is a shame, hopefully they’ll be back soon though because I will definitely be seeing them again.


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