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It's been a long five year wait but The Raveonettes, a band noted as being responsible for the recent wave of American pop music, are back in the UK on tour, and here in Manchester tonight, promoting their most recent album 'Observator' which is their 6th album to date, in their ten year career span, having been recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound Studios in L.A, famous for The Doors and Jim Morrison.
The small upstairs loft is dark, sweaty, rammed to the rafters and feeling very claustrophobic. Manchester it seems are huge fans of cult band The Raveonettes, and its clearly a sold out show. So it's time for the Danish duo, to rave-on, and show us some of their stuff, the stage is set, featuring 3 amps clearly marked on each RAVE - ON - ETTES in bold letter. Out comes the beautiful Sharin Foo [bass/vocals], with her ultra blonde bobbed hair, and mini dress, Sune Rose Wagner, the tall baseball capped, ramone-sque vocalist/ guitarist, and lest we not forget their touring drummer, who's name escapes me.

They kicked off with fabulous intentions, and started into a track their 3rd album 'Lust, Lust, Lust' 'Hallucinations' with its dark surfing tones, heavy bass and crashing symbols. Then into an offering from the new album 'She Owns The Night' with its lyrics inspired by a NYC street dancer. Another from the great back catalogue 'Blush' brings a more upbeat, and poppy tune to the fore. Sharin joins vocals on 'Dead Sound' another from the 'Lust, Lust, Lust' archive.A plodding 'Lust, Lust, Lust' follows next, with its twinkling, dreamy guitars and mellow vocals.

The lo-fi sounds blend in with the dark wall of sound, the vibe of  the guitars of the 50's/60's and and the noisy cranky guitars, and twisting curves, all the while making great shapes across the gloomy set up, with fog and strobes, and those white beams of lights highlighting their movements, which made for a very atmospheric show. 

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from their live performance, but it was a nod to the Velvet Underground, with a smattering of rockabilly, although if we were to expect any sudden explosions of passion or any rock n' roll action, we were going to be disappointed. It was melodic and reminiscent of The Vivian Girls/ Dum, Dum Girls, [of course The Raveonettes are the originators] with Jesus Mary Chain thrown in for good measure. A kind of dark pop, with twisted tormented lyrics, especially prevalent on the new tunes. Sharin and Sune harmonise well together, always checking each other out, a nod or smile here and there, yet rarely communicating to the audience. Sune was the silent broody partner in crime, who had his eyes closed most of the time, and so lost in his guitar playing that it left the wondrous bass playing Sharin to welcome Manchester into their bosoms. I can’t quite work out if they are trying to be cool, are shy, or maybe just prefer communicating through their music. I felt this was detrimental to their set, and it all felt a bit like racing on a high speed train, and before long our journey was soon over.

Towards the end, they pulled out all the stops for the encore with old favourites 'Attack Of The Ghost Riders' with its rasping guitar sound, and B movie soundtrack, followed by the haunting 'My Tornado' and finishing their set with the slow meandering threat of 'Bowels Of The Beast' and finally the dreamy, mystical 'Aly, Walk with Me' the rapturous applause for more, filled the room and left everyone satiated, so until the next time, lets hope its not another 5 year wait.



She Owns The Streets
Dead Sound
Lust, Lust, Lust
Curse The Night
Gone Forever
The Enemy
Young And Cold
Attack Of The Ghost Riders
My Tornado
Bowels Of The Beast
Aly, Walk with Me 

Review/photos by Melanie Smith

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