Art Brut - Manchester Academy 3 - 15.6.07

Art brut are Indies’ equivalent to marmite. Their ironic and witty take on the classic love song seems to divide the nation. However, this evening the room is filled with dedicated fans who begin to chant “Art Brut top of the pops” to relieve some of the excitement that has built up. Firstly, a surprisingly fantastic set delivered by London’s finest, Vincent, Vincent and the villains proves a Spanish inspired sounds with a Joe Strummeresque front man can set off the standard for an impressive evening.

Unconventional rock and roll stars Art Brut pop up from no where performing a new track “Pump Up The Volume” effortlessly. The new track performed tonight are greeted warmly as they appear to get their fans approval. They are a tight and rehearsed band with professionalism flowing through them. Sadly and unfairly the band seems to reach criticism wherever they go, outcast due to their slanted outlook on the modern man’s life.

The pinnacle of the performance occurs early in the evening with a meritorious and effervescent rendition of “Modern Art”. The audience, not quite prepared for such a strenuous and solid delivery, became the personification of cult followers. Its true that Art Brut have never acquired a critically acclaimed or successful career commercially but the fact remains that their palpable enthusiasm and pure adoration for being in a band is visible and years of touring the smallest of venues has only solidified their bond and comradeship as a group.

In today’s new music scene, fashion and music have been coupled together and superficial appearances have seemed to overshadow musical talent. Eddie Argos is a front man that couldn’t be further from today’s generic indie stereotype of a skinny rake adorned with dandy gothic garb and to worsen his misfit persona he dares to use his intellect and a love of language to portray his darkest and most sordid emotions. His risqué use of analogy and euphemism reaches its peak in “Rusted Gun of Milan” which Is belted out with brutality that could fill an arena

Art Brut’s live show ethic is clearly giving people their money’s worth. A band that eccentrically mixes both music and comedy successfully. What their lead singer, Eddie lacks in vocal ability makes up for in on stage banter and the odd manly fumble with bright eyed guitarist Jasper. Proclaiming “Whatever you do be in a band!!” the group clearly promote their lives as offbeat rock and rollers and if anything, their wide grins portray that their best times have been on a stage.

Its unusual to find an individual gig to be filled with so may events and memories, renditions of Amy Winehouse and The Smiths, stage dives during the first song and even telling Jay Z to stop being misogynistic but Art brut have triumphantly accomplished this.

The set can only have been described as electrifyingly impressive with a potent and admirable vision of a quirky, ironic and odd front man backed up with songs to co ordinate. Leaving your lungs unable to cope with breathing is surely a good sign that the academy has witnessed a truly spectacular and unique show

Hannah Clark

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