Lorraine - 53 Degrees Preston - 21.9.06

When I told my friends I was going to see Lorraine they foolishly assumed I had a hot date. On explaining that Lorraine were four young Norwegian men, eyebrows were raised and wicked whispers were formulating in a manner so salacious that the rumour mill was in full swing. "Listen carefully" I pleaded, my patience now at breaking point "Lorraine are a new band who
deserve to be heard. These techno terrorists mix the Germanic beats of Kraftwerk with the indie credibility of amongst others The Smiths". With my confusion now explained away to my satisfaction I make my way to the gig.

Frontman Ole Gunner Gunderson has made the effort in his stylish sartorial elegance of crisp white shirt, black tie and has the look of a younger Gary Numan. After a recent mishap Ole injured his leg and makes a brave entrance on a pair of crutches with a chair behind him for when he needs a rest. Like the old saying goes, the show must go on!

Lorraine have shimmering pop choruses with keyboard player Paul Myran-Haaland a bundle of infectious energy, laying down synth parts while turning to the crowd, a cherubic face with an impish grin. More introverted in style and presence is guitarist Anders Winsents who has a shy nature on stage, very much in the mould of the shoe gazing musicians from yesteryear. When Ole sings you can imagine what Neil Tennant would sound like if he's been tutored by a butch vocal coach. He reaches all the high notes beautifully. This happens most effectively on the moody but buoyant track "Ever After" which has an epic quality. "When I Return To The World" is dramatic without ever losing a shred of credibility while former single "I Feel It" is europop with a touch of class.

Despite struggling with his crutches and having to sit down when it all gets too much for him, Ole has natural star quality. He doesn't hog the limelight or overshadow his fellow band mates. Lorraine's cover of the Psychedelic Furs "Heaven" is an electro make over, pushing the song into a futuristic realm, which is part of an EP is released on October 16th.

The short half hour set is over far too quickly with Ole having a bit of a dance on the bands final song "Beautiful Thing" which sees the surprisingly static crowd giving polite applause. Curb your enthusiasm guys, your energy is overwhelming. Designer Magazine cant wait for the album as there isn't one song played tonight that wouldn't make a cracking single

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Andy Stubbs www.shoot-first.com

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