Racing are a band that I reviewed for Radio 13 when they released their debut LP Real Dancing earlier this month. The anticipation to see them live grew the second I started playing their album and can honestly say I wasn’t disappointed. These guys were tighter than two coats of paint.
The night kicked off with two support acts being Dual and Starr. Both from different sides of the music spectrum... they were a good mix of what was to come.
Dual was aptly named and highlighted what you can do with great vocals, guitar and a Mac Book Pro. These boys were seriously good and welcomed the growing crowd during their short set.
Starr followed with the more traditional three-piece drums and wires approach. They had hints of Led Zeppelin and a driving bass that had the now full crowd primed and ready for the main event of the night.
Three of the four-piece band ascended the stage and started playing the familiar riffs off their early single If Only. By this stage, the packed crowed was pulled into the groove expectantly waiting for frontman Ed Knowles to join them and kick off proceedings. He did, wearing what I could only describe as a mirror ball jacket, and giving some indication of how the night was going to unfold. Hitting those falsetto vocals is no mean feat so early on and it was delivered with so much bravado he had the crowd in the palm of his hand straight away.
A few quick words of welcome and they blazed into Drugs and Affection one of my favourite tracks off Real Dancing... primarily because the song captures an early Simple Minds vibe with a dance beat that had everyone singing along too.
It was clear that the audience were all followers of the band as Let It Slip followed, off the EP Bass... a slightly slower track that gave everyone just a little time to catch their breath.
Then it was back to the latter days with Misbehaving. Quite a deceiving track with a slowish intro that then drops down another gear and, being played live, gave a little more freedom for the band to grunge it out and get the whole crowd behind the chorus. It also highlighted the diversity of their influences and sound. Some hints of Rolling Stones' Emotional Rescue here as well.
The band were really hitting their straps now with Devil's Work and Motel Pool taking the intensity to a new level. It was a wave of contagious beats and driving bass from Daniel Barrett, particularly with the latter track. Sven Pettersen on guitar had more freedom to stretch out the White Stripes licks and had the whole house screaming whoooo, almost blowing off the top of the Galatos roof. Simply brilliant!
Run Wild was another banger with everyone, including the bar staff, singing along to the chorus. It had such a charm and a great bridge that was reminiscent of Sisters of Mercy's This Corrosion. There is so much to enjoy with this band and the collision of so many genres makes them stand out from many others.
The encore finished the night off in style with The Bass, All Night Long and Hotel Echo leaving the smiling punters breathless and wanting more. These guys really know how to rock and their enjoyment overflowed, almost drowning everyone in their wake.
If you haven’t seen them live yet... best you race off and get your dancing shoes on. You won’t be disappointed.