Friday, August 01, 2003

NO ROCK REVIEW: THE AUTEURS live: Contributed via bsn by the wonderful Mr. Justin Fun:

I have to start by quoting from the programme given to us as we entered (which was titled "Saint Luke at St Luke's")

"Dear Ticketholder,

"It is my pleasure and duty to welcome you to my inauguration into the rock n roll hall of fame, here, tonight, live at St Luke's. Of course, being of a modest disposition, I shall not be mentioning it during tonight's performance and would be grateful if you, the audience, make no reference to this momentous event.

"This is, in many ways, a homecoming. After three arduous years of pop strike, with only a dozen or so Black Box Recorder-related scabbing incidents, I do hope you will forgive me for any light-heartedness or ebullience. I am now, after all, a free man. On the subject of freedom and forgiveness, I have only just noticed that there are no 'original' Auteurs amongst my backing band. But as some of these so called 'original' Auteurs were dismissed on the grounds of diminished musical responsibility, I feel the present arrangement works very favourably.

"Enough.

"On with the show,

Your friend and fan,

Luke Haines"

Which pretty much sums up the mood for the first half of the evening - for the first 45 minutes Luke played with a string section, performing old Auteurs songs and some new material , as per his latest album "The songwriting genius of Luke Haines and The Auteurs". Songs were introduced as 'another masterpiece' or 'this is a song about how I'm always right'. All good fun, and it fitted well with the venue - St Luke's is a converted church, all seated and pretty swish. It was a little on the sedate side at times though.

The second half (after an interval) saw the strings sent packing and the band turning up the volume. They started by storming through most of the Baader Meinhof album (all but two songs), a punked up, turbo-charged version of the original record which sounded amazing. Then we were treated to a few Auteurs classics, and some material from 'The Oliver Twist Manifesto', including a solo version of 'The Death of Sarah Lucas', which made me smile, as it always does.

It was all over by 10:30, and we left to the strains of 'Saturday Gigs' by Mott The Hoople (one of my favourite songs and the source of my screen name - spooky). And they were selling the DVD of Christie Malry's Own Double Entry for a tenner. What a perfect evening.


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