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coverpic flag US - Ohio - Full Moon 85 - 09/10/03

The Black Keys
The Charlotte, Leicester, UK, 03.09.2003

The Black Keys have had a busy english summer, with playing most of the major festivals, and getting understated yet apreciative reviews this and the rumoured links to the White Stripes, convinced me to seize the chance to see them at this small and intimate event, which is launching their brief UK tour.They certainly appeal to a wide audience and had sold out this cosy venue.

The Black Keys are freshly shaven twenty-two year old vocalist and guitarist Dan Aerbach and gangly drummer Patrich Carney originating from a small garage in Akron, Ohio.

Despite their small presence on stage their live sound is surprisingly thick, and they begin to deliver a truly strong rendition of "Countdown" followed by their charming new single "Have Love Will Travel" (Fat possum, Sept 15).

It is easy to draw comparisons to the White Stripes with such a band; but only in genre. For example, unlike Jack's hallmark scratchy yowling, Dan has a more demure but nonetheless emotive style and a real power and soul that you can only find in the rawest and greatest blues singers, yes, I was very impressed, but not only by vocalist Dan: Bespectacled Patrich has impressive stamina, and avoids the usual simplistic beats you find from most bored and jaded drummers, adding funk and originality with real enthusiasm.

The two together are so tight that even whilst fending off amorous advances from semi-drunken women, they manage to literally never miss a beat. What professionals.

They have definitely picked up where most representative blues rock duo's have left off (namely to chase Kate Moss) as they sprinkle their set wiith unique adaptations of "No Fun" by The Stooges and even - I believe - an impressively different sounding "She said, she said" Beatles song, slipped in for good measure and appreciation. After some more album material - which had eveyone at least shaking their hips, in an unashamedly Deep Purple way - we were sad to seem them leave, but leave they did graciously after several generous Hendrix inspired encores.

Yes, after Wednesday the third of September, I was hooked on the very raw and dirty hooks of bluesey garage rock, I am now most certainly a believer in the power of the Black Keys. Much Fun.

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