I am feeling a little guilty that I keep going to see British bands over here: Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, and tonight, The Fratellis. But how could I not? These are all bands who I listen to on a daily basis, so the chance of seeing them live, and in New York, has been far too good to give up. I just regret that I haven’t been doing more gig going in London over the past ten years – it does help that it’s often less than half the price in the UK to see bands here.
The Fratellis at the Roseland tonight were excellent. They’re here in the States supporting The Police on their stadium tour, and tonight’s date was a last minute schedule addition, I suspect, because they are cresting a wave of popularity on the back of the tour. I know that some elements of the music press deride them for all their la la la choruses and general perkiness, but the lead singer has an astonishing voice, and I’m a big fan of a catchy, danceable tune. And, surprisingly for a New York audience, there was a lot of dancing going on. Altho I do suspect that there was a very healthy British contingent in the audience – I spotted at last two Saltires being waved from the balconies, and some super-nutty pogo-ing that definitely looked authentically lager-fuelledly English.
(I wonder if UK bands playing New York realise just how many British people there are in the audience. Last month The Kooks played the tiny Fillmore, and Luke Pritchard screamed out “I can’t believe you fuckers know all the words” and I really wanted to shout back, “That’s cos 75% of the audience is British mate”.
Splendid gig-going moment: Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline blasting out over the PA as we all left the venue. Immediately the entire British contingent started roaring out the words and doing little shimmying dances in the aisles. A proper Guilty Pleasure.