GIG REVIEW: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + Cold War Kids & Elvis Perkins @ Manchester Academy 2/2/07
On Friday I went to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and they were absolutely terrible. The songs they played from their new album sounded for the most part like a foghorn being blasted into a black hole. When I saw them last year in a smaller venue, they played one new song that was so inferior to the rest of their set that I was a bit nervous for what we old-timers term "the future". That it seemed like a rough gem compared to the rest of their freshly unveiled material at the Academy confirmed my fears. CYHSY have "gone lousy" faster than any act in living memory.
I could continue to moan, wail and spit but I won't. Why stop to drive nails into roadkill? People around me seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it was the kind of enjoying yourself that involves shouting into your mate's ear at a proximity that implies that you are the most intimate of lovers.
To address the positives: Cold War Kids on the other hand were a lot better than their rather one-note radio hit would suggest. At one point trombonists and trumpeters emerged to raise our spirits. Many of their jams were pleasing even to the untutored ear.
In addition, I enjoyed the sight of a be-cardiganed gentleman who spent much of the early part of the gig apparently rooting around in his back passage, then later on unveiled a series of chesty and inappropriate dance moves. This sweaty and faintly threatening rustic was keeping alive the Great British tradition of the village idiot, one spasmodic twitch at a time. He, at the very least, appeared to be trying.