I was looking forward to seeing The Raconteurs. See, while I like The White Stripes, I had one of the worst gigs ever, the last time I saw them, at the soulless Alexandra Palace. We walked out half way through, I hated the venue, it was too big for the band. I think that was the last time I saw them – I want to remember good White Stripes gigs, like in Brixton, or when they played 93 Feet East. So this is Jack White and Brendan Benson’s new band. Their “other” project. Smaller venue too, which is a good thing. It looked pretty packed down the front, with a good 50 digital camera or phone screens lighting up the front – which made me incredibly conscious of mine (although I was alone, and upstairs). Camera lights are the new lighters, and you don’t even need a slow song.
Anyway, after an uneventful set from the 747’s, The Raconteurs came on stage for 9pm sharp (it was G.A.Y. afterwards, so an early kick out) – and launched straight into some album tracks. I’ve heard ‘Broken Boy Soldiers’ a good 6-7 times now, but the songs aren’t sticking in my head yet – some I recognised from the start, others, just not quite yet.
It was nice to see Jack White seeming more relaxed, playing in a band of more than two people, almost as if the focus wasn’t on him (despite all the cameras photographing him, and him alone, so it seemed), especially with the first few songs being Brendan Benson ones, with minimal Jack, up until ‘Steady As She Goes’ (the crowd went mad). I liked them – but I didn’t love them. Maybe it was because of the size of the venue – I almost feel like I wish they’d done a secret show in a small place, say like The Borderline, where you get that feeling of excitement, and you’re closer to the band. (I remember The Breeders doing a gig at the Water Rats for ‘Title TK’ which was a fantastic show, before they came back and did bigger shows)
Still, it sounds like I’m being negative – I don’t mean to be. I liked the band. I know when I’m going to see them again, so I ducked out before it was over. Sore shoulders, and sore legs. Time to go home and sleep. No aftershow for me…
I’d definitely go and see them again – photos here