With a 7-year hiatus due to personal issues in Eddie Argos’ life we knew this homecoming gig would be important but no one in the room realised just how important this would be. Art Brut are back and they sound better than when they were being touted around as indie’s next big thing!
‘The audience hadn’t come for [Heroes Of The Modern World] dreamy yet thrashy set but with their well-crafted tunes a fair portion of the unexpecting audience softly bobbed their headed through their numbers.’
The night started with competent support act Heroes Of The Modern World giving us a 30 minute blast of their take on shoegaze. The audience hadn’t come for their dreamy yet thrashy set but with their well-crafted tunes a fair portion of the audience softly bobbed their headed through their numbers. A solid start to the night fitting fairly well into a night not designed for their sound.
‘The closest we’ll ever get to attending an Eddie Argos house party and man, we had fun!’
Full of the energy from not only releasing their first new album in 7 years but releasing an absolute stormer, the crowd filled with friends and, as Eddie rightly said, by changing the lyrics in ‘Formed A Band’ to ‘we’re just talking to people in their mid-30s’; the crowd were hyped! This was the closest we’ll ever get to attending an Eddie Argos house party and man, we had fun!
Prior to this album, critics had been commenting how Art Brut and Eddie’s previous two albums had become stale, with Eddie subtly grumbling at his diminishing audience. But with a buoyant attitude Art Brut joyously ran through ‘Hooray’ from their new album dispelling any worries that Art Brut V2.0 were for anything but genuine reasons. Art Brut will always be Eddie’s band but with a band comprising of old and new members they were clearly ready for whatever the tour (and Eddie) threw at them, taking on some numbers that Eddie said they haven’t played in over a decade. With the quality of the performances, no one in the crowd would have known.
‘Art Brut were ready for whatever the tour threw at them [playing songs they haven’t performed] in over a decade. With the quality of the performances no one in the crowd would have known.’
Whenever possible Eddie played his most loved role of raconteur telling stories both during and before songs, much to the amusement of the crowd. During ‘My Little Brother’ Eddie told the audience how successful his now adult brother is and with him in the audience Eddie retold tales of the pair for possibly 5 minutes. No one was bored; we would have been happy if it had gone on longer!
During this segment Eddie displayed his new-found comfort in being a ‘Kultfigur’ telling the audience that the way to scare your parents is to start a band that is good enough to keep going but not good enough to make any money. We had all forgotten how topical Eddie’s lyrics were when we first heard them in 2005 but being able to change lyrics to make them relevant with our current generation (‘mixtape’ to ‘YouTube playlist’ among others) both brought laughter in the audience as well as breathing new life into them. So many bands’ early material can sound dated. This was not the case with Art Brut this evening.
‘Eddie displayed his new-found comfort in being a ‘Kultfigur’’
Towards the later part of the set Eddie not only conducted his band often exclaiming ‘Are you ready Art Brut?’ but also conducted the audience walking out through the crowd getting them to crouch for certain parts of songs and the infamous ‘Art Brut, Top Of The Pops’ chant. During interview Eddie told Underscore Part 3 that Art Brut will be back with annual releases and we (and the audience) can’t wait. With a Radio 6 session on 4.3.2019, radio airplay and a split release with We Are Scientists coming this April, Art Brut may always be a cult band but maybe opposite to Eddie’s lyric ‘it’s not about making the audience bigger’ the crowds may in fact grow. Art Brut, Top Of The Pops!