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There’s a Ghost Inside

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My indecisiveness sometimes gets the worse for me, but the weekend before last spontaneity won and on a whim I decided to pick up a ticket for a Ladytron gig in Valencia.  It was held in a small venue on the far side of town from where I live, a venue to which I will surely return.  The DJ on before the band was playing some top tunes, most of which I hadn’t heard before but gave me a good pointer for some new things to listen to.

I haven’t been to a “decent” gig in a while so I’m really glad I made the decision in the end to go.  It’s easy to forget the euphoria that you can feel shouting lyrics and bouncing like a berk to your favourite song by a band you love.  Without the smoking ban (it’s not been introduced widely here yet) memories of going to a gig and leaving reeking of smoke and with pained eyes and trying to dodge flailing cigarettes were brought back.  It’s unpleasant but somehow the experience lacks without in now in England.

It was clear that half the crowd were dedicated fans, and the other half were friends or lovers along for the ride, but this gave a good atmosphere.  It was pleasing to see the newly-initiated, by the end of the gig, were jumping along just as hard as the old timers.  The last time I saw them was in 2005 (ARU Students’ Union) in a small sweaty room, and this time the atmosphere wasn’t dissimilar.  Somehow dark electropop, sticky floors and dodging glowing fag butts make good bedfellows.

One of the thing that notices with going to see established bands is that boredom does creep into the songs when the old classics are played.  Of course it’s understandable; especially with a song like “Seventeen”.  The repetition of six lines multiplied over the song and over the plethora of shows must be mind numbing, and it’s seen at moments in the faces as they perform.

The set was essentially an album playback, with plenty of older material thrown in for good measure.  I hadn’t heard any of the new songs before (I forgot they had a new album out earlier this year!) but they had me hooked.

Helen from Ladytron (Valencia, November 2008)

Helen from Ladytron

Standout songs, at least for me, of the new album are “Ghost” and “Runaway”.  Even not having heard them before, by the end of each song I had sketchily learnt enough of the lyrics to shout along.  From the album (which I downloaded the morning after and will buy ASAP) “Versus”, which I don’t remember being played live, stands out too.  Most noticeable is the presence of male vocals from Danny, something they’ve not done before.

The sound is more complex, more layered, still electronic but less stark.  Some of the songs even have a hint of warmth coming through, something not normally associated with the sparse lyrics and icy electronica that Ladytron bring.  The evolution since the dark space of “604” and “Light and Magic”, through the turn towards something more indierock in “Witching Hour” has arrived at something nearing perfection of electropop on “Velocifero”, the new album.

Written by Benjamin

November 10th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Posted in gig, music

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