60s sounding rock but as relevant as anything else these days.
When your main day job expects you to do the majority of the work and carry the can for failed expectations, it must be good at times to share the load and pressure for a break. Its exactly this type of freedom that allows The Raconteurs to offer a highly enjoyable, if uncomplicated show.
From the opening instrumental blast which filtered straight into 'Intimate Secretary', there was barely a minute where the band didn't look to be having the time of their lives. Often during a White Stripes show, frontman Jack White tends to get lost within the music but on nights like this, he seems lucid and his recurring smile throughout the evening indicated a man who is relaxed with himself and his current band.
And he has every right to be pleased with himself, for an album considered by some to be a extravagant indulgence, 'Broken Boy Soldiers' remains one of the most vibrant and exciting records of the year and the live show, which leaned heavily on its contents, naturally reflected this.
The title track of the album is a high pitched, Eastern influenced raga with White's searing vocals powering throughout, as himself and Brendan Benson battle and weave between each other in creating a track that owes as much to the 60s ideals of mysticism as anything truly authentic.
A major reason for Whites relaxed persona is the way that Brendan Benson more than carries his share of the share. From the relaxed verses of 'Hands' to the lilting melodies of 'Together', Benson may well find that The Raconteurs has offered many people an invite into his sounds and could well see his popularity soar when the band returns to their day job.
With only an album of material to perform, the prospect of covers was always likely and surprisingly, was different from the choices the band performed on their UK tour. Perhaps the death of Arthur Lee prompted the removal of Love's 'A House Is Not A Motel' but its slot was taken by a cover of Nancy Sinatras 'Bang Bang.' Given that the band came on stage to a soundtrack full of Ennio Morricone tracks, it may be that Kill Bill has been featuring heavily on the tour bus.
'Bang Bang' was given an extremely sparse and menacing treatment with Whites piercing yelps adding to the feeling of pleading and desperation which can be derived from the songs undertones. And mention of undertones, leads neatly onto the encore cover, which was 'Teenage Kicks.' Now most famously remembered for being John Peels favourite hit, the band powered through the song and their bouncing throughout gave the impression that they were enjoying it as much, if not more, than the audience.
With a few extended guitar solos cropping into the set near the end, it was possible the show could have fizzled out but the evenings closer 'Hands' ensured the show finished on a high, allowing the crowd a final sing-along before the band gave their final bow and departed.
On a night when Edinburgh's representatives failed to gain entry to the Champions League and Brendan Benson erroneously praised the Glaswegian crowd, it was nice to see the residents of Auld Reekie still had something to cheer on and enjoy.