The Last Shadow Puppets @ The Bristol Summer Series
I will be completely honest - I have only recently started my journey of fandom for TLSP. It was the release of their latest album that piqued my interest and after giving it a listen, I was SOLD. Growing up in the 00s I was a huge fan of the Arctic Monkeys and I love Miles Kanes solo stuff. I am surprised that it took me so long to get on board with this bro-mance. It should have been a no brainer? First of all, the setting for this evening was stunning. The rain had passed and we are standing on the top step of the amphitheatre, we have the perfect view of the stage with the river as a backdrop. Red lights danced around the surrounding buildings. This venue needs to be here all summer!
Now for the music. It has been 8 years since the release of their first album, and it seems like they have come along way since then. No more shaggy hair and matching tracksuits - they have done some growing up. These musical heavy weights could now pass as the most known rock stars of today - buried in their combined catalogue of albums. As they walk onto the stage, your eyes are drawn straight to Alex Turner. He’s wearing a white jacket, vest, tailored trousers and his 50’s greased-quiff. Like a rockabilly Freddie Mercury, so retro and dapper. Miles Kane is stood to his right, guitar in hand ready to go! It is strange, the two of them look like they could be in completely different bands, Alex’s very distinctive look versus Miles grey appearance. It is hard not to let Alex overshadow Miles.
Alex’s vocals echo through the crowd - his voice is so unique, powerful and soulful. Hearing him sing live after 10 years of obsessing over his records is a real blessing. Their stage looks fantastic; grand, dressed in red, white, black and gold, very Moulin Rouge.
When they start strumming the opening to ‘Calm like you’, you can hear influence of The Beatles immediately. You expect to hear Lennon or McCartney when the vocals kick in. Straight from an old song and into the second track of their new album ‘Everything you’ve come to expect’, ‘Miracle Aligner’. Alex’s voice is phenomenal, using it as an instrument his range and its strength is superhuman.
The bro-mance is indisputable when they sail into ‘Separate and ever deadly’. The two have a strong connection and they bounce of each other. Alex drapes his arms around Miles (almost getting in a neck-nuzzle) and combine their talents producing absolutely genius. You can hear both their individual styles and sounds fusing, this musical marriage is incredible. Miles’ raw and rocky sounds versus Alex’s melodic rock and roll - these best friends have created something extraordinary and they are having a blast.
"Ohhhhhhhhhh Bristol" Alex chimes and they start the title track from their album ‘Everything you’ve come expect’ - It's pure poetry. The fluidity of the lyrics flowing like a smooth sailing ship is simple and seductive. The melody is captivating, something you might hear on a carousel or at a fairground. The harbourside is drenched in a red glow before the sophisticated ‘Aviation’ purrs through the crowd.
Finally, “You asked for it Bristol” Alex blusters through the mic and the harbour is soaked in ‘Bad Habits’. With its attack of gritty verses and funky chorus, it strips away their refined sounds and class - the crowd erupts, it’s energetic and infectious.
The duo return to their places for their 3 track sweeping encore; including the crowd favourite ‘Standing next to me’.
This charismatic pair have perfected their ‘puppet mastery’, the crowd is swooning and elated when leaving the harbour. Their set was a great mix of the old and new. The music is beautifully crafted and delivered with enough swagger to give it edge. Alex seemed to overshadow Miles, he was the one doing most of the talking. Although this might have just been me fan-girling, it would have been good to hear more from Kane or even if he wore something to make him stand out (like his red trousers). To the uninformed viewer they might think Alex was a the frontman. They could have done a bit more to present it as a the partnership it is.
- The venue is perfect for this kind of gig! It makes me love Bristol even more!
- Bad habits!
- Everything you have come to expect is one of my new favourites. Hearing that live was a treat.
Three words: Dapper, Gritty, Sophisticated
You can see their upcoming tour dates or hear more via their social channels.