So what brings me to Kings Cross on a wet and windy Wednesday night? Well, in my luke warm review of Celeb Car Crash‘s debut album “Ambush!” I posted that the band would probably be a more exciting and lively proposition in concert, and so now here I am to see if I’m right.
My first exposure to the band was through their rather polished video for single ‘Dead Poets Society’ and it’s with that that the band kick off proceedings. It’s nice to see C.C.C as a ‘band’ – an interacting entity – but it’s weird to see them in the rather tawdry surrounds of the Water Rats after their slick video, which makes them look like bonafide rock stars. I have to admit that the single has grown on me since I reviewed the album and it gets me nodding in approval, ready to be impressed. ‘Blinded by the Light’ gets the very sparse crowd clapping along, incredibly. It does have a killer punchy riff that reminds me of Gun and is another song that is seemingly improved with repeated listens. It has a nice dramatic build and the band do let loose at the end, which was something that was sorely missing from the album.
The guys do look happy to be playing, despite such a tiny crowd, and are clearly troopers of the first order. Bassist Simone Benati in particular acts like he’s headlining a much bigger venue, which is endearing, admirable and tragic all at the same time! The band then make a bit of a mess of ‘Jerk’ with a ropey breakdown in the middle; a shame as it’s one of their best numbers. It doesn’t get any better with ‘Dorothy’, far from my fave song on the album. It’s a bit contrived lyrically and if I didn’t already know the tune I’d find it rather lumpen and uninteresting. After that double-dip it lifts a considerably with ‘Get More’, a proper lively rock song which would win over many a sceptic.
Towards the end of the set dashing vocalist and guitarist Nicola Briganti starts talking to the crowd in Italian, showing that the room is really just made up of friends and WAGS. It’s clearly been a leap into the unknown for C.C.C. to come and play in London, and it’s a shame London doesn’t seem interested as I’m sure there are worse bands playing to bigger audiences all over the capital tonight. The show ends, as it should, with ‘Bushido’, their only song of real quality, and it feels too big for the room with it’s Pearl Jam style stadium angst.
I walk off into the rain with an admiration for Celeb Car Crash for bringing their rock n’ roll show to a typically unwelcoming London. I hope they get some bigger crowds across Europe.