Going to concerts here in London is usually a pretty cool experience. New venues, tastier beer, new heads to stare at, not to mention the 40-foot think cloud of cigarette smoke, as every other person in this damn country chain smokes like they own stock in RJ Reynolds. Cancer-causing haze aside, gigs in London are pretty hot. Last night, it was time to check out NME-faves and current buzz band The Sleepy Jackson. I had previously only heard one track by this Australian quartet, but was interested in peeping them live. My boy Jason Bick at Channelfly was kind enough to get me on the list for the show at the Camden Barfly and come 10 PM, The Jackson took the stage to the sounds of The Beach Boys.
Visually, I didn't know what to make of them, as lead singer Luke Steele looked like a blend of 90% Herve Villechaize and 10% Elvis, and was wearing a Star Trek t-shirt and a blazer. The music was just about as bizarre. At some points, the four-piece from Perth rocked three to four-part harmonies, sounding like Teenage Fanclub and a fair amount of their songs were country-tinged. But, then on top of that, there would be full-on guitar wigouts (with lead axeman Justin "Borf" Borford wrestling with his guitar like it was an electric eel and he was some indie version of countryman Steve Irwin) and sound barrier-breaking, sternum-shaking 808 booms. When the band was more song structured, I was into it, but the Beta Band meets lunacy meets cacophony parts lost me a bit. Perhaps I needed more lead time with the recorded material. The harmonies were nice, though.