It was a night of low end heavy mixes and backlighting at the Cradle last night. UK group The Kills brought a sizable and very young crowd to Carrboro. Besides the crowd, The Kills also brought fellow Brits The Horrors with them as well as US group The Magic Wands.
All in all, it was an odd night. Of the three groups, only one had a drummer. Both The Kills and The Magic Wands are two guitar duos who make use of a lot of samples.
In the case of the first band of the night, The Magic Wands, it made sense. The group played some danceable tunes that got the early arrivers moving. There was nothing particularly unique about the group, but the songs were fun and they didn't overstay their welcome, only playing for about 25 minutes.
The Horrors were next up. They came out the victors of the three band bill sharing their dark, gothy tunes with the crowd. They were also the only real band to play all night. Lead singer Faris Badwan started the set by spinning in place for a bit before grabbing the mic to sing. It seemed a bit odd, but not as odd as when he later put the band's guitar tech in a headlock as he was trying to walk across the stage to tend to a problem.
Anyway, on to the music. The band played a very bass and synth-driven set which was scattered with the sonic elements of Joy Division. The music was okay, but Faris' spasms were far more entertaining. They were actually reminiscent of on Ian Curtis' spastic stage presence.
At last and actually least, The Kills came on. The lack of a full band here made the set very awkward (though in the interest of full disclosure, I left before it was over). While lead singer Alison Mosshart's stage presence helped fill the void of musicians, it just wasn't enough. The band's latest album Midnight Boom has a much more organic feel, so hearing a band in a box doesn't do the trick.
All in all, it was a fairly mediocre night at the Cradle. I'd imagine the folks at the Kings of Leon show had a much better time.
[all photos by Kevin Norris]
The Magic Wands