review archive

The Raveonettes 22nd November 2002 The Metro

Friday night and a real rain is falling, washing the scum off London’s streets. The scum put up their umbrellas and slither along the pavements faster. Some of us get washed down the plughole into The Metro (house rules: ’never open on time, always keep the punters waiting, don’t bother spending 50p to mend the broken lock in the ladies’). Down in this sweaty, smoky basement, The Raveonettes are playing. The Raveonettes are vampires. Their songs are sucked empty of anything as warm-blooded as emotion, as duel singers Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner (no, really) cast their cold-hearted, dead-eyed stares out across the crowd.

The Raveonettes are vampires
They begin with a fantastic bloodless, suspended animation, white-out version of Buddy Holly’s ‘Rollercoaster’, lyrics filtered through drifts of static interference feedback. The Flatmates used to do a fizzing, fuzzed up version of this song, but it didn’t chill you to the bone like this.
Ladychain The songs are all utterly Mary Chain, full of itching, icy feedback and deadpan vocals, Spectoresque walls of noise and pointy boots (remember when all the indie boys wore pointy boots? Aww, bless). It’s like someone invented a band to appeal to the 17 year old Kitten. Here’s a ‘You Trip Me Up’ bassline, there’s a bit of ‘Happy When It Rains’. Of course where the Mary Chain fell down was not having a Ladychain. The Raveonettes’ masterstroke is adding the girl/boy dynamic to their spitting, droney buzz. Like Kevin ‘n’ Bilinda or Nancy ‘n’ Lee, Sharin ‘n’ Sune complement each other perfectly, doing dark and blonde like Lou ‘n’ Nico, balancing the songs from either side of the stage. At one point ditching their guitars to clasp halves of lager for a sparse, echoey Primitives meets The Cramps scuzzalong.

Careening about in between is mental old chin-bearded guitarist Manoj, adding lots of fantastic squigglings and squanglings and demented poonk rock poses. Halfway through, Sharin enquires if it’s anyones birthday today. A dull-eyed girl next to me totally lies and puts up her hand. She passionlessly receives a cd, looking thoroughly underwhelmed by proceedings. Woo this is fun.

Of course this void-rock is nothing we’ve not heard a thousand times before (Velvets = JAMC = Ride etc, etc), and there’s the whiff of big bucks in here. Glossy posters adorn every wall, advertising the single ‘Attack of the Ghostriders’ (out now on Columbia, kids. Buy! Buy!). There are proper roadies doing serious setting up of serious gear, not something I’ve ever witnessed in the ramshackle old Metro. There’s the creeping feeling that these Danes are selling us back our own pop-culture, filtered clean of the filth and sweat and bonkersness of true inspiration. Like when you see those ultra cool Japanese kidz wearing their beautifully put together perfecto expenso versions of pop-culture street fashion.

squigglings and squanglings

Who cares about all that though? Did I mention there’s lots of nice feedback and ace pop songs? At the end Sune goes mental lying on the floor cranking out feedback and screechiness, he seems to be enjoying himself. Rave on.

[top of page]