When Noel Gallagher came out after seeing their Astoria debut, some months ago, he had one of his best moments of creativity in the last 10 years. Unfortunately for Oasis, he didn’t put it into a song but into a live review. His terrific comment about the gig was: “Fuckin’ Immense!” Well, credit to him, I cannot think of anything more appropriate to describe a performance by Beth Ditto, the Gossip singer. To me she is by far the best female indie-rock voice to emerge in this Millennium to date.
She’s not only a great singer, but a fantastic performer. Her social and political awareness manifests itself with her involvement in gay and women rights with the added fact that she’s easygoing, comfortable with such an uncomfortable size and, above all else, modest. It’s easy to understand why she was nominated the coolest person in music in the NME this year - she is cool.
The rest of the trio, technically, are pretty good too. The drummer is precise and potent enough to scan the 4/4 beat that’s the key to holding their rhythm whilst the guitarist (some songs turning bassist) takes all the harmonic parts.
So the question which revolves around my head after I left the gig is: “Why, if everything is so good, do I get the impression that something is missing?”. I didn’t come up with a reasonable answer other than they are maybe lacking some more groovy tunes. Other songs in the vein of “Nite”, “Coal to Diamond” and the concluding “Standing In The Way Of Control” and they’ll lead the indie garage world.
Nothing to despair though, this can be seen as a good thing, they can get even better. So now, after an hour jumping up and down I sit, rest, watch their fantastic performance at Glastonbury on Youtube and wait, looking forward to hearing their new studio album. I’m patient. If I fall asleep I hope to dream that someone of the like of Jack White or Jon Spencer will pen a couple of songs for them. That will guarantee me queuing to preorder it. Well, dreaming is free… as well as youtube … isn’t it?
Photos [valerio berdini]