Monday, 7 June 2010

Beatsteaks @ ULU review for Gigwise

Morning guys, here's a review I did for Gigwise about Beatsteaks. Shit name, fucking fantastic band. Come on and share the love!

Lately there seems to have been some sort of bizarre German renaissance going on. Berlin is the hipster destination du jour, a German Kate Nash carbon copy has just won the Eurovision song contest, and let’s face it, the Germans will most possibly win the bloody football world cup, too.

So Berlin punk band Beatsteaks have chosen the perfect time to conquer the UK gig scene. Setting off to play to a packed ULU, the tension in the air is palpable. Still a relatively unknown band to these shores, Beatsteaks are massive in their native Germany having recruited followers over years of relentless touring and through their totally unique, in-your-face sound.

Seconds before the band enter the stage, you just know that this crowd, who are already religiously chanting the band’s name, are going to go absolutely ballistic. And bonkers they go, as Beatsteaks open their set with old cheerful sing-along ‘Atomic Love’. During the first song full-on stage-diving already occurs and consequently follow-up swing-punk-smasher ‘Hand in Hand’ seals the deal turning the venue into a sauna-like mega disco. The crowd is so hyped on heat and high-drinks, they cling to every word superbly charismatic power-house front-man Arnim says. He knows perfectly well how to command the crowd, and ensures that all eyes are on him.

Launching himself from the rafters and singing standing up on the barriers, Arnim still embodies that old good-time Rock’n’Roll attitude, that’s only to be found in one-offs like Iggy Pop. He invites crow-participation, but he is also in total control of the venue at all times. After finishing a soulful cover of ‘Teenage Kicks’, Beatsteaks send the crowd into a frenzy with their most powerful and most frantic-sounding last single ‘Jane Became Insane’. The tune’s chorus is brimming with off-kilter melodies and the razor-sharp, high-pitched guitar lines and clap-along bridge guarantee that this bomb of a song is going off, big time.

Beatsteaks’ latest album ‘Limbo Messiah’ is showcased at its most glorious during the ULU gig and Gigwise have hardly ever seen a band with such an immense physical presence along with similarly immense tunes. They combine the best of Black Flag, Minor Threat and Bad Brains and the troupe’s explosive mix is equally captivating and cathartic. Their gig at ULU is a celebration of everything that’s good about music: dedicated fans, a dedicated band and magnificently demented and catchy songs. Beatsteaks the world is yours to conquer!

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