Everyone’s favourite primate-loving, multinational—hugging rock’n’roll hedonists are back. Go nuts for THE DANDY WARHOLS. VVOttltai Mark Robertson
here are only two kinds of drunk: nice ones and
nasty ones. (‘ourtney Taylor-'l‘aylor singer.
songwriter and enchanting chief-Dandy Warhol is very. Very. much in the former category. The day's press interyiews have taken their toll. or more accurately. rnttltiple bottles of Italian white wine haye taken their toll. consumed as they haye been during the band‘s charm offensiye on the nation‘s press while detailing the aural delights of their new long player lie/come In the .llonkey' House.
2003 finds the Dandy Warhols in rude health and their blend of muscular glam-riffs. primitive electro-squawks and 30s chic has finally been recognised as the sound of ‘.\'()WY‘ (0) The have) btrt Taylor's sttspicion of contemporary cool is understandable. "This band was fotrnded on a reaction to a style trend: grunge.’ he says. ‘lt's kind of funny that at the moment: if you haye a rnoppy haircut and wear a tie. you‘re a rock'n‘roller. That makes you cool. (lod. I wish it was that easy for me.‘
l)espite 'l‘aylor’s modesty. the Dandy Warhols (/U have all the right moyes. They tick all the right rock’n'roll boxes with a smouldering waif tip front. backed by a mildly unhinged fernrne fatale keyboardist with a penchant for impromptu onstage nudity. and enough curly hair. tight T- shirts and pottting from their rhythm section to unnerye the Strokes. But cool'.’ 'l'aylor says no. ‘I still haven't figured otlt how to be cool 7 I‘m still working on that.
This is no record company conceit. They remain pretty rntrch as they were at their inception in IOU-l: a quartet of knowing hedonists with a grasp on the past. present and future of rock'n'roll and all its high-living trappings. ()r as Taylor pttts it: ‘.-\ bunch of cuckoo hippy ftrcking weirdo hipster artists living in a small town in America and doing our thing.’
lle/t'imre to the .llunkey House is proof if further proof were needed after 2000‘s sublime Thirteen 721/(’.\‘_f)'()l)l ( ’rhun Bohemia — that the Dandy Warhols are in possession of a trouser-full of righteous pop'n'grind magic. Tellingly co-produced with Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and celebrated Bowie knob-twiddler Tony Visconti. it signals pop progression but celebrates the band's staple diet of retro chops: T Rex. Bowie and the VT. but giyen a tasty relish of contemporary sass.
Lead single ‘We l'sed to be l‘riends' bubbles with a similar awkward funk effer'y'escence to Blur's ‘(iirls and Boys‘ but substitutes loat'ing linglishness for Yank swagger. while the album's centrepiece 'Heay'enly'. adopts the same blissful poise as Primal Scream's most beatific comedown
18 TNE LIST :4 HA.
anthems. but with a greater understanding of melody.
Taylor points out that their strident pop took yary'ing forms during its deyclopment. ‘()riginally this was a drum & bass record. Instead of guitars we just had delayed noises. but emotionally. some songs jtrst wanted the guitars to come back in. The record label were like: “I ley. what are we supposed to do with this'.’ We can't pin it down. Are you gonna go on a hip hop station?" They think that is what people want. People don’t they want a celebration of the human spirit.’
To many though. the Dandy Warhols inhabit a shady glade called ‘the Valley of bands who got farnous through having a song on a TV ad'. Well. it worked for Royksopp. Moby‘ and (ioldfrapp: one song turning some relatiy'ely well-kept secrets into chart contenders. ‘Bohemian like You’ their song in question from the Vodafone ads is a suggestiye hunk of(ien X glam pop. a tale of loyc. lust and lunch dates topped with a drawling. moreish clior'tts. Taylor has no problem with nu/Iling tip to the claws of corporate soundtracking. Far from it.
‘There's so much noise on T\'.’ he rants. 'liyery commercial has a song going: "l'N(i'l'll-l'.\'(i'lill- l'N(i'l’ll-l'.\'(i'l'lll IT'S A l"l'.\' l’.-\:\R—'l}\;\Yl YliAlll ()Rl)liR .\'()W! ll:\\'li LESS l’lMl’HiSl" And out of all that shit. one of our songs and it was a really ama/ingly' good song got put on a commercial. and it stuck out. People just went: "lloly sltlll What the fuck is that?" It was an incredible stroke of luck.‘
l)espite the attention the song has gathered for the band. Taylor remains grounded: ‘No matter how big you get there‘s still someone ready to slap you in the face.’
By neyer taking things for granted and liying the rock star life to its yery fullest. the band haye inadyertently become celebrated as expert party animals.
‘I think with a lot of other bands that‘s what we‘re famoUs for. I remember Marilyn Manson being like: “What the fuck is tip with you people?" We realised that this life is great fun and if it's good. it‘s ftrn and if it's bad. it's funny.
But you haye to appreciate the Spinal 'Iiip god-awfulness of
it all too. One time we arriyed backstage and for our rider there was a paper plate and someone had just dumped a jar of peanuts on it. That was it - that's what we got to eat. Jesus ('hristf~
It seems you don't lime to haye nuts to be in the Dandy Warhols. but it helps.
The Dandy Warhols play Carling Academy, Glasgow, Sat 17 May.
‘I still haven’t figured out how to be cool.’ says Courtney Taylor- Taylor, far right