NME Awards Tour, Barrowland, Glasgow, Sun 26


If 2002 belonged to any single band, it belonged to the Datsuns. OK, they’re maybe not at the globe-straddling U2 stage yet, but in terms of gaining publicity, popularity and praise, it’s hard to beat the lank-halred foursome from

Cambridge, New Zealand.

This time last year they were an unheard of, unsigned, smalltown band. Then, after quitting their jobs to tour the States, they pitched up In London to do a couple of shows. Such was the fervour from fans and record business execs allke that they stayed for several months, signed a massive record deal, recorded and released their debut album, performed a load of radio sessions, appeared on Top of the Pops, CD:UK and Later with Jools Holland and toured the

country umpteen times.

But damn them if they aren’t all level-headed and down-to-earth about it all. ‘You don‘t really have much time to think about it,’ says singer and bassist Doif de Datsun. ‘Things whlzz by really fast and you’re just laughing at them at the

same time that they’re happening. It’s funny.’ The band have been chucked into the garage

rock revival pigeonhole by lazler hacks. But really the Datsuns owe their musical debts to the dlrtler end of the 70s metal scene, with bands like AC/DC, UFO and Deep Purple getting an injection of twenty-first century oomph on their superb eponymous debut album.

Another attitude the band mirror from that time is the willingness to pitch up and play wherever and whenever they can, something put into full

effect in 2002. ‘We did 185 shows last year and we’re all a bit frazzled, but we’re still loving it though,’ says Doif. ‘That’s what it’s all about for any rock band, playing live, especially a rock’n’roll band like us.’

Then again there are a zillion bands out their plying their sweaty wares: why have things taken off for the Datsuns in particular? ‘I think people just love to see energy and bands who believe in

Flnaly, some Cambridge graduates who have done something with themselves

what they do,’ says Dolf. ‘And, you know, it’s entertaining as hell seeing four people being idiots on stage for 40 minutes.’

A philosophy encapsulated on Jools Holland’s worthy show at the area and of last year, where the Datsuns blew everyone else away. ‘That was a lot of fun actually,’ says Doif. ‘It was great cos everyone else there was so serious, and we were like: “Come on, let’s rock outl’" (Doug Johnstone)



N ME Awards Tour, Barrowland, Glasgow, Sun 26 Jan

One glimpse at the name and you think you've got it sussed? Well guess again . . . where every other ‘the' band are cut from the same scruffy cloth. hyped up today and gone tomorrow, this hotly-tipped Dublin five-piece make blissfully diverse West Coast-inspired live-wire pop. a breath of fresh air to cut through garage rock monotony.

We catch up with the Thrills' Daniel Ryan in the middle of a sold-out low-key December tour. to find the softly spoken guitarist and occasional bassist hugely excited at the prospect of playing their biggest shows to date at the fOrthcoming NME shows. ‘The last three or four months have been the best months of our lives.’ he gushes. ‘Since Conor (Deasy - vocals) and i started the band when we were

42 TH. LICT 16—30 Jan 2003

16 we have always done our own thing. There's not that many people doing what we're doing at the moment so we just stuck at it. We can't wait to do the tour because there's loads of cool bands playing and it's a good opponunity for us to get the stuff out there.‘

As well as music press approval and a growing legion of Thrills devotees. the band played their first ever UK gig supporting Morrissey at the Royal Albert Hall. at the indie icon's personal request after he heard a CD and asked to watch them practice. ‘It was amazing,' Ryan explains. 'For someone as good as Morrissey to say they like you is just such a big compliment.’ On the back of their exceptional first EP ‘Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)‘ and mesmerising live performances. flattery is

something the Thrills are going to ;

have to get used to. (Camilla Pia)

ROCK INTERPOL NME Awards Tour, Barrowland, Glasgow, Sun 26 Jan

Bobbing along like dismembered torsos in the East River are so many bands armed with sharp suits. sharp tongues and sharp NYC postcodes. Lest we forget that Blondie were the only real/y cool band to don a well out suit and guitar simultaneously; now they have someone joining them in the New York rock'n'roll dressing room: Interpol.

‘lnterpol stand out for having the rare combination of both style and substance.’ said Stewart Henderson of the Delgados. and he should know: his label. Chemikal Underground. put out their UK debut EP in 2001. Their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights sees out this adage. churning up a virulent storm. dark and brooding in places. plaintive and pleading in others.

‘The subway is a porno. the pavement is a mess.' intones vocalist Paul Banks on ‘NYC', a twisted tribute to their native city and the album's mesmeric centre-piece. which encapsulates the bands backward looking but forward thinking musical referencing.

They draw on their home turf roots: carving up Television's chiming. duelling guitars, Talking Heads' wide-eyed, dextrose. dexterous funk and the more elegiac moments of Sonic Youth, with a wilful, awkward streak that is distinctly English. The quartet refute anglophile accusations however, while finding a paramour in the original Manchester scene: the Chameleons. Magazine and Joy Division. Banks rightfully asks: ‘What have geographical boundaries got to do with music?’

Good point. As some say. “its not where you are. its where you're at', and Interpol are at the point of winning over the hearts and minds of many. given half a chance.

(Mark Robertson)

Rock for the bespoke generation