Raconteurs fail to have any cohesion or strength to their set
Jack White's band of merry men, The Raconteurs, have garnered much attention and mixed reviews but nobody quite knew if they could cut it live. The answer, in short, is not really. A combination of bad wind, poor sound, and weak vocals from White himself meant a less than impressive set; the crowd certainly let them know it too.
The problem with this bluesy, garage rock is it would sound great in a darkened room, with smoky atmospherics, but in the open air, the nuances are lost and like Gogol Bordello, it's nowhere near as good. Take lead single, 'Steady, as she Goes', great on record but on the day seems rushed and lacks any punch or edge. At least it doesn't stop White trying to chivvy the audience up, chatting to them as he would a lover - 'you're all looking good' - before introducing the band, he appears to be having the time of his life.
They follow that with a softer, more bluesy song and it fits the day perfectly. It's good to see a variety of soft and hard stuff, and the crowd seem to think this too. So when the next one - a harder, rockier effort - starts up and the bluesy element carries on, it's a welcome touch. If only the vocals weren't so obscured it would be much better.
Unfortunately, from then on, the set descends into mediocrity and the crowd reaction plunges with it. The rest of the songs sound the same with the bass and guitars overpowering proceedings - urgent but ultimately uninspired. The Raconteurs' smoky tunes didn't quite match the open air feel of the O2 Wireless Festival, which let it down in the end.