Rock and pop
Klaxons are a real blastGary Ryan
NOW here's a band who really know how to blast out the sounds of the New Rave Revolution. Mind you, with a name like The Klaxons you would expect nothing less.
"There's nothing better than looking out into the audience and having a whole sea of glowsticks staring back at you," beams James Righton of the leading band in the new in-sound that's leaving Eighties-influenced electro outfits like the White Rose Movement trailing in their wake.
Describing their sound on their MySpace page as "when Buzz Aldrin returned from the Moon and turned Muslim", these space cadets are helming a mission to turn Britain Day-Glo.
"When we formed," explains James, who is from Southend of all places, "it was the height of that post-Libertines sound and it just felt so tired. We wanted to have some fun."
They looked to the days when it was considered fashionable to wear smiley yellow faces and ski masks and mashed dance music bass lines with punk sensibilities.
Forming as an antithesis to lugubrious indie outfits that clog up the aisles of HMV, the Klaxons should have a sign on the door of their gigs that sternly advises: 'No Flash Photography, No Shoe-Gazing, No Chin-Stroking'.
"If you look at the whole New Rave movement," reasons James, "the big common ground is definitely the fun element.
"It's more outward-looking music than introspective.
"Personally, we weren't sure how people would react to us outside our local comfort zone, but when we left London and people in the likes of Liverpool and Manchester were getting into it, we knew we were on to something."
"There's a lot of crowd interaction at our shows. If they're giving off good vibes, we'll give good vibes. If you come and see us it's not a stand there, drink a pint, watch the band kind of gig."
Unlike the 'turn up in your stage wear' look of the likes of the Primarktic Monkeys, the Klaxons are making an aesthetic effort, sporting brightly-coloured knitwear, white jeans so tight they presumably have to be wheeled around on casters, make-up and comedy hats. Similarly, they're acolytes are also raiding the local bring-and-buy sale.
"We like people who come to our gigs to dress sharp and to impress," says James. "And to the point. The people who come armed with glowsticks are great, and let's face it, it's better than Kooks-style straw hats.
"I think we'll ditch all the neon soon," he adds. "We're going to go for a goth-prog shanty gypsy kind of thing. The next big colour for us, I think, is going to be purple."
None of the band - completed by Jamie Reynolds (drums/bass/vocals) and Simon Taylor (guitar/vocals) - are old enough to have cut rugs at those warehouse parties 15 years ago which so angered the Tories.
But they are resurrecting the free party culture with a series of secret raves.
"We've done loads and we're going to continue doing them as well. Hopefully, as we get bigger and bigger, we'll play larger venues - but we're always going to go back and play these secret parties, they're the funniest things.
"We did one in Deptford where it all kicked off. Alex from the Arctic Monkeys was there with a glowstick and a smile."
So impressed was chief Monkey that he offered the trio a golden support slot.
Having slayed indie dancefloors with the two singles, Gravity's Rainbow and Atlantis to Interzone, they're expected to take Leeds by storm tonight.
"It's actually my birthday," says James. "So if any readers want to get me anything, I'd love a cake. That'd be great. Chocolate or Victoria sponge."
After that, they're off to hole themselves up in a studio with original producer James Ford (after experimenting with Paul Epworth and Erol Alkan) to put the finishing touches to their debut album.
"We don't have so much a buzz about us as deserved praise," laughs James. "We're in a very lucky position at the moment, but now we have the pressure of matching those expectations with a big debut."
And despite covers of rave hits such as Kicks Like a Mule's The Bouncer and Perfecto Allstars' Not Over Yet, they're not one-trick-ponies. "A lot of people try and categorise us as a rave band, but we're a lot more than that. We've got so many influences from Motown to hip-hop to r'n'b to indie."
The Klaxons play the NME New Rave Revolution Tour, featuring fellow neo-rave peddlers S**tdisco and Datarock at the MDH on Tuesday October 3. Academy 1. '12. Call 0161 832 1111. Followed by a secret warehouse party in November. Check out www.myspace.com/klaxons
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