Monday, 6 February 2012

Last-Year Music: Citizens!

I seem to have developed a weakness for bands with one-word names. One-word names that when placed together hint at some soap opera storyline: Friends, Knickers and Cults. I've now added Citizens! to that list - and perhaps the exclamation mark that goes after their name can offer a dramatic finale to that strange storyline.

Last week, I went with a long-time gig-going partner-in-crime to see Kate Jackson playing at the Lexington (how I miss the Long Blondes every single day). The support was Citizens! whose True Romance single had somehow made it onto my radar enough to make my 2011 playlist but no further upon my musical radar.

Their performance induces some of the craziest gig dancing I've seen for a long time down the front and we're jigging along happily. My friend remarks how much they remind her of Franz Ferdinand. Oh yes, I agree and, perhaps indicating at how much of my 20s I spent going to indie gigs, I remark how the lead singer reminds me of the guy from Official Secrets Act.

Although we are no longer on top of things music-wise enough to have known this already, it turns out Citizens! are produced by Alex Kapranos and, yes, includes ex-members of Official Secrets Act.

True Romance has now firmly embedded itself in my brain. It's one of those magical songs that acknowledges exactly how tired, battered and broken I am feeling but suggests the answer is possibly a good dance and that maybe everything is okay after all. In other words, one of those songs that work best when pissed and fuzzy in a club.

Their new single Reptile isn't quite that good as that but it does show the Kapranos influence on their sound. And how a pasty faced indie boy can be transformed through the power of a turned-up collar and some excellent dancing - always pleasing to see.

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