Together in Electric Dreams. Immense.
You know they electronic bands that you always heard talked about but were never too sure to give them a try, well open up your ears and eyes as one of the best bands around may be passing you by. Ladytron have finally broken through from the pack to become the band the critics and early-adopters always hoped, and secretly feared, they might become.
Taking the opportunity of record label troubles to come back with their best record yet, Ladytrons recent tour has found them in strong health, with the expanded live band bringing the groups electronic visions and nightmares to life.
Opener 'High Rise' snarls and throttles as much as it does on record and sets the quality for the rest of the evening. Recent singles 'Destroy Everything You Touch' and 'Sugar' featured early in the evening and contrast the bands differing styles. The first featuring the slower paced story-telling side of the band with the latter showcasing the frenetic, dance tinged elements. 'Sugar' could claim to be the most impressive indie/dance crossover since Primal Screams 'Swastika Eyes' for the way it pounds and gets people dancing when they previously thought their coolness would prevent them from looking good on the dance floor.
In a way that some see Franz Ferdinand as too studies and cool, there are popular misconceptions about Ladytron which some have used to detract from the band. The only things that should matter are the songs, the hooks and the melodies. Which Ladytron have, in abundance. Current album 'Witching Hour' is their most realised release to date, having a consistency of dark edgy sound and beats with outstanding vocals.
Main singer Helena Marnie was on excellent form, cajoling and captivating the crowd throughout the set. Aside from her obvious style and charisma she possesses a voice of range and strength. The chorus of 'International Dateline' is twisted and contorted around, thrusting the emotions of the lyrics onto the audience.
Also, and one aspect which sets the band apart from many of their peers, the drums were a standout on many of the songs. One of the key factors of the show was the beat driving the band along and providing the dance backbone, in a way very similar to Blondies success, allowing the keyboards to handle the pop side of business.
With early tracks like 'Playgirl' and 'Took Her To A Movie' meshing well with the new material, Ladytron are finally poised to be a headline act with enough quality to sustain a full-length show with no filler. By the time 'Seventeen' bounced to its conclusion, the crowd was bowled over and the buzz on leaving the venue was evident for all to see and feel.
It is all too easy to use words like, cold, icy and aloof in describing electronic bands but Ladytron, much like the Tin Man, have found their heart. You could do worse than letting them take yours.