Come In Tokyo, The Aliens
From Earth to Outer Space, according to band names and that would be a good summary of the bands on stage tonight.
Come In Tokyo are a straight-up rock and roll two piece in the White Stripes mould, battering out punky, catchy little rootsy, bluesy numbers short on time, but big on impact. ï¿½I Won't Want You' and ï¿½Seesaw' just small little capsules of fun. For a band that claims not to have slept in the space of the nine dates they've done with The Aliens, they haven't quite lost it.
Leaving Japan, we're off exploring the final frontier with a band who look like a band, bouncing onto the stage like excitable bunny rabbits. Opening with ï¿½Setting Sun', a lush '60s tinged piece of surf-psychedelia, with a late Madchester thing going on, like Shaun Ryder fronting the Beach Boys, then into ï¿½Only Waiting' this time giving off a Rolling Stones vibe, and our front-man would give old rubber-legs-and-lips a run for him money, ditching the guitar for a loudhailer and throwing himself around the stage.
ï¿½Glover' is more conventional on record but has added bizarre effects laden interludes - the best description would be Duke Special with a backing band and harmonies after a night quaffing Babychams in a 1960s Merseybeat bar. These interludes provide a chance for our man on keyboards to shine, despite appearing to be Rigsy in a wig - or, is it just me thinking that?
Anyway, on with the music. Or rather not on with the music, for these guys seem to have the longest gaps between songs known to mankind, filled with sometimes comedic, always entertaining and engaging, friendly ranting from our front-man. The rest of the band is wise to this though and produce a ï¿½device', or more accurately an inflatable club to beat him round the head when he goes on too much. It seems to have only an occasional effect though.
Back to the music, ï¿½Tomorrow' receives what we are told it is its last performance. If it is, it gets a good send off. Closing their regular set with the albums two strongest numbers - the wonderful Beatlesque Madchester blues-funk of ï¿½Robot Man' (with mad sunglasses a la the baddies from Battlestar Galatica), this is a song so infectious you can't help but move to it, and then the so-simple-it's-simply-genius-despite-being-just-plain-bonkers delights of ï¿½The Happy Song'. It is impossible to listen to this song without nodding your head from side to side with a grin on face.
As for the encore, it's far too short, consisting of ï¿½Rox', like Screamadelica-era Primal Scream covering Alabama 3's ï¿½Woke Up This Morning', but still we're ï¿½happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happyï¿½. They bounce from the stage, skipping and jumping down the stairs - it's all we can do to prevent ourselves following in a similar fashion. No longer a Beta version, these guys are the finished extra-terrestrial product.