Friday, October 5
Photos and Words by Scott Spychalski
Editor's Note From Harper: Even though the label denied the Pitch press credentials to Klaxons' show last Friday at the Bottleneck, our truly intrepid photographer, Scott, went early, bought a ticket and hung out with the band, duping them at one point into endorsing our little publication.
No Pitch reporters were there to accompany Scott, but he was able to jot some notes down ... on the back of a groupie.
More photos and Scott's report are after the jump.
I had a chance to talk to Jamie Reynolds and James Righton of Klaxons before the show while they played a little pool and had a couple of snacks.
Me: Congratulations on winning the Mercury Prize this year.
Jamie: Oh, thank you, we really wanted to win it.
Me: I was pulling for you, but I thought they might give it to Amy Winehouse.
Jamie: She is extremely talented.
Me: How is the leg doing? (Jamie broke his leg on July 21st attempting to stage dive across 12 feet of grass in France.)
Jamie: It's about 90% right now, thanks for asking.
Me: What do you make of this New Rave genre?
Jamie: I think it's hilarious. I made it up all by myself. Now people all over the world are talking about it and the press are writing about it.
Me: Is it true that Simon (Simon Tayor Davis of Klaxons) and Lovefoxx (of the band CSS) are getting married?
Jamie: No, that's completely made up.
Me: Aren't they engaged?
Jamie: No, It's something we made up for the press.
Me: OK, who knows what to believe then...
Me: You have been touring all over and playing the same songs for over a year. Are you sick of playing them?
Jamie: Well...not sick of them. I mean we still love playing them but I would like to play some new ones. We won't be able to record any until the new year we have to go to Australia, Europe and Japan this year.
Me: I heard your cover of the Blackstreet song "No Diggity" on the BBC Radio One Est 1967 album. I really like it. It doesn't sound like you at all though. Did they ask you to cover that song?
Jamie: Thank you, I think the production is a bit off though. They said we could cover any song from 1996, so we chose that one.
[This may be the direction of the next CD, which they've been lobbying Dr. Dre to produce.]
Me: On the way over here I stopped at the book store and picked up my usual assortment of British music mags and Klaxons are on the cover of NME again.
Jamie: Oh do you have it with you? We haven't seen that one yet.
[I get it from my car, and they open it on the pool table.]
Jamie: [Pointing to the article's pullquotes]. I didn't say that! Or that! They take everything out of context.
Me: Don't you think there were a lot sophomore slumps this year from British bands?
Jamie: Yeah, quite a few. Bloc Party, Editors, the Rakes.... The only one who pulled it off was the Arctic Monkeys. They are a very polished band and great guys.They're our mates.
[As we look through the magazine we come across an article on the Sex Pistols reuniting for some concerts and possibly new songs.]
Me: What do you think of old bands reuniting?
Jamie: I think some should know when to call it a day.
Me: I agree, and don't overstay your welcome. I think six albums should be the limit.
James: I think we have 5 more in us.
Me: Do you own your own publishing rights?
Jamie: No, we sold our souls. We get our rights back in 25 years.
Me: That will come in handy for your retirement. Is that when all the hidden demos, reissues and boxsets come out?
James: Well, we don't have any hidden demos. I guess we will have to put something aside for later.
Me: You have told the press and its even written on your tour T-shirts that the world will end on 12.12.12 -- so I guess there is really no need for that retirement money.
Jamie: Well, anything is possible, I suppose.
CONCERT REVIEW: THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S ANGLE
I went to my customary front row center spot as about four rows deep quickly joined filing in close to the stage. Lawrence band Ghosty went on at about 9 p.m. and played a handful of mellow songs. More people filtered in and it started getting hot and sticky. The wait was long for the Klaxons to hit the stage, and two girls to my right began yelling for the band and pushing their way to the front row, threatning anyone who got in their way. More on them later.
Klaxons came out to applause and roars from an energetic crowd, opening with "Bouncer". They sound much less polished live -- moke like an early '80s West Coast punk band than the polished electronic group heard on their albums. A few songs in, however, and the place was madhouse. The the same two obnoxious girls from before ran onto the stage, jumping around uncontested -- not dancing, jumping. One of them, who looked like she could've been the late Chris Farley's twin sister, was gyrating in some sort of non-rhythmic drunken stupor.
But the Klaxons seemed to feed off of it and played harder and faster. Drunk and drunker finally jumped off the stage but not before knocking Jamie down. (After the show, he told me, "You have to be nice. I was worried about my leg though, when I went down.") The band continued their set at a fernetic pace, playing hits "Atlantis to Interzone," "Golden Skans," "Magick," among others. As they played their last regular set song "Four Horseman" the same two girls jumped back up on stage...all of a sudden everyone jumped on stage as Jamie gave in and waved everyone up as they contiuned playing.
It became a big sweaty musical mess, and I loved it all, as did everyone on stage and around me. Klaxons came back after everything settled down to play one more song and told us it had been the wildest concert since they played in Germany and that they would definitely be coming back to Kansas. A great live band and truly splendid chaps.
Visit Scott's Flickr page for his complete concert photoset.