Sunday 17 December 2017

Review: Puppets step out from the shadows

Rock: The Last Shadow Puppets, Olympia, Dublin

The Last Shadow Puppets' Alex Turner and Miles Kane.
The Last Shadow Puppets' Alex Turner and Miles Kane.
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Even though Sheffield supergroup Arctic Monkeys are not currently on tour or in the studio, drummer Matt Helders has temporarily joined Iggy Pop's band for a series of rapturously received shows. Meanwhile, singer Alex Turner has reunited the Last Shadow Puppets; a baroque pop duo with Miles Kane.

The pair are riding the crest of a wave on the back of the release of their second album 'Everything You've Come to Expect', their first since their fine debut 'The Age of Understatement' in 2008. There is nothing like a lengthy absence to stoke demand, as the Last Shadow Puppets are playing three consecutive nights in the Dame Street theatre.

Backed by a string section, Kane and Turner cut a serious dash on stage. The presence of not just one but two natural-born front men adds plenty of flair and flamboyance to their already dapper pop songs.

It is fascinating to observe Turner's transformation from a shy and slightly awkward teenager in the early days of Arctic Monkeys, to a pouting rock god sporting a fetching modern teddy boy look.

Recent single 'Bad Habits' sends the crowd wild, and the audience appear to know both their albums inside out. While some of the songs from their recent album lack the singularity of their first, the performance certainly doesn't disappoint.

For an encore, Turner and Kane do an audacious cover of 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' by the Beatles, an eight-minute epic from 'Abbey Road' that is widely credited for pioneering metal and hard rock before Black Sabbath. The Last Shadow Puppets chose it for their BBC Electric Proms performance a few years back, and it is a fine version that they make their own rather than being faithful to the Fab Four.

Even if it takes another eight years to follow up their latest suite of songs, the appeal of the Last Shadow Puppets is unlikely to wane. Alex Turner is arguably one of the last bona fide rock stars left on the planet, while Kane mightn't have the profile, he certainly has the looks.

Irish Independent

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