Eddie Argos is as foppish as he is mindful. Tonight, an entirely befitting brass section is accompanying Art Brut in a mid-size room filled with haircuts, androgyny and the balding in almost equal parts. “Ready, Art Brut?” asks the henchman to his foils. Only if it’s a euphemism for ‘raring at the startline like an ill-accused Mills McCartney’.
A heavenly 19-song set, Art Brut live is a personification of why the current musical landscape is something to be oh-so-ecstatic about. The thrash of ‘Bang Bang Rock and Roll’, the strangely anthemic ‘Rusted Guns of Milan’ seeing our protagonist addressing his minions with an impotence manifesto, the virtuosic ‘Blame It On The Train’ complete with dust and spit visibly permeating the air… On record they’re phenomenal, live it’s the most mind-blowing, touching, awesome, hilarious, proficient, revolutionary experience you’re ever likely to hap upon. Forget TOTP, send them to No. 10.
The brass works so well, especially on ‘Late Sunday Evening’ - the whole band are thriving, subverting the predictable. But the fanfares are only the cherry on top of the sublime anthology – which, accordingly, comprises an amalgamation of rawer than raw on ‘I Will Survive’, demi-God Argos sporadically pogoing on a non-existent trampoline and shortly afterwards being touched up and losing his shoes as he crowdsurfs a wave almost to the back of the room, Ian Catskillin climbing the speakers like a holed up gorilla on played-out finale ‘Bad Weekend’, using the mic lead as a skipping rope, and naturally articulating riotous tête-à-tête such as “it’s about molesting someone in their sleep”, of course on ‘Jealous Guy’. This is not irony, it’s not contrived – it’s a full-on, pull out all the stops revolt. And ‘Formed A Band’? Argos told me to, so alas I shall.
It’s an added bonus that Emily Kane and the Little Brother are both in the room, as the lyrics suddenly become endowed with even more resonance. It’s a weird feeling, sometimes, that everyone around you has taste. That’s an aside, but back to focus, this is a euphoric night and Art Brut have written two albums of songs as universal as ‘Happy Birthday’.