Beatsteaks - Night & Day Cafe - 9.01.02
They're up against it from the start. After all how many good german rock bands can you mention that aren't called Rammstein. For some bands it would simply be a case of giving up before they've started but for the Beatsteaks they take the negative and turn it into a positive by being the best rock band to come out of Germany....ever!!! For those who don't know the band, we'll take the time to fill you in briefly with a potted history - the band form to play their 10th gig supporting the reformed Sex Pistols, go onto play to thousands on headline tours of their native country, get their hero Billy Gould of Faith No More to produce "Living Targets" which us guys at Designer Magazine proclaimed it to be the best rock album of 2002 when it was released 12 months ago.
Looking round tonight's audience on their first headlining tour of the UK it's a mish mash of hard-core punk radicals complete with real mohicans (not these Uber-Fashionable David Beckham styled mops) and fresh faced youngsters which were blown away when the band supported A at the tail-end of last year. Despite being incredibly commercial, if you imagine the Foo Fighters but a zillion times better, they show their true punk roots from the start when singer Arnim bounds onto the stage with a Black Flag T-shirt before segueing their second song into Iggy Pop's "Passengers" and including a cover of "I Fought The Law" by the Clash which was dedicated to the late great Joe Strummer. For some bands this would be the highlight of their set, but "Living Targets" is an album overflowing with hooks and catchy choruses from "God Knows" to the hit in waiting "Soothe Me". Even on "Disconnected" when the band get a little pretentious with 2 bass' duelling for space singer Arnim holds it all together with his comedy dancing and hip swings to the cymbal crashes.
As the band leave the stage with "Summer", Arnim does the only appropriate thing you can do in such a situation. What I hear you all ask? Get his guitar case, place it on mass of hands in the pit and surf on it of course. It takes a new meaning to the phrase crowd surfing and shows that a Beatsteaks party is the only place to be. They may have came out fighting against the stereotypes of 25 years of bad german rock music, but by the end of it the show they'd showed us Brits how to do it!!!
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