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Eden Sessions - The Cornish Glasty - Part 2

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:43 UK time, Tuesday, 1 July 2008

A ChartBlog Special ReportAfter the drizzle and huff of the Verve on Friday, time for something fresher. Sunday night's concert by the Raconteurs and Vampire Weekend, at the Eden Project.

Vampire Weekend are not a band who are selling their music off the back of the fact that they have massive amounts of The Cool, it's fair to say. Not because they are ugly, or geeky, more because there is something about each member which is just a little bit...well...lacking in those virtues we all traditionally associate with The Cool.

Ezra Koenig seems to be an (only just) grown up version of Fred Savage from TV's The Wonder Years. An interesting thought when you consider that it was rumoured for a while that his best friend was played by a young Marilyn Manson. That's an alternate reality TV show I would LOVE to see...

Vampire Weekend
(Thanks to Prince Philbert for the use of this photo...)

...sorry, I'm back now. Incidentally, should anyone ever ask you for a decent working definition of a nanosecond, tell them it's the length of time between Ezra's question "is there a phrase in English which describes the wearing of a blue denim jacket with jeans?" and a member of the audience yelling "GAY!"

See what I mean about The Cool? So, there's Ezra looking so young and fresh-faced that one member of the audience was moved to ask "are Vampire Weekend on first so that the singer can get home before his bedtime?", next to him is Chris the bass player, with his widow's peak haircut and rolled-up sleeves, like they used to do in the '80s. He does not smile, even after humping his bass in a would-be sexual fashion.

Chris the drummer could be cooler, but he has two tom toms on his bass drum. Now, any indie drummer will tell you that the cool way to set your kit up is with one tom on the bass drum, and two floor toms. This is what John Bonham did, it's close enough to Ringo Starr's setup, Dave Grohl did it, Meg White...the list goes on. Cool drummers have one tom tom on their bass drum. That's the law.

>The Drums, The Drums, The Drums, The Drums, The Drums, The Drums

But none of this would matter a jot if it wasn't for the band's secret weapon against The Cool. Their keyboard player Rostam Batmanglij is an astonishing presence. He looks like he would rather be anywhere else in the world than on-stage with his band, he tends to glare at the audience while he's playing, and I haven't seen a jumper quite like that since Christmas (thanks Auntie, I'll keep it in the cupboard so it doesn't get spoiled!). Mind you, when you consider that the first six letters of his surname spell out 'Batman', his natural haughtiness becomes more understandable.

Jack WhiteSpeaking of haughty, Jack White could have been friendlier. As the Raconteurs take to the stage, he leaves the greetings and inter-song chat to his fellow singer Brendan Benson, preferring to let his guitar solos do the talking, and not smiling at all. This continues all the way through his band's performance - an astonishingly good performance, I might add - and as they all troop offstage before the encore, he leaves without so much as a backward glance.

Oh sure, he hangs around long enough to take a bow with the band at the very end, he still has manners, after all... But for someone that famous, performing with the band he formed as a release from the pressure of being a White Stripe, you'd think he'd look more comfortable, or relaxed, at the very least.

Especially when you consider how much of The Cool the Raconteurs have. Hell, even their roadies are cool, each one goes about his business wearing a black trilby hat. You can't get much cooler than that. Vampire Weekend would (possibly) kill to have this level of The Cool, even though Jack makes it look about as much fun as attempting to ride a badger.

The Raconteurs drummer - who is incredible, by the way - has one tom on his bass drum. I know you were wondering.

Raconteurs - Patrick

Go see the Raconteurs gallery at BBC Cornwall...
ChartBlog Goes To Eden 2008 - The Verve

Coming Soon: The Kaiser Chiefs and KT Tunstall...


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