Japandroids / Cadence Weapon @ Green Door Store, Brighton
Nathan Westley reports on a Canadian invasion of Brighton, with headliners Japandroids previewing new album Celebration Rock. Photos: Mike Burnell
Where once people would clearly identify themselves as Mods, Rockers or members of some other card carryingly conformist tribe, it's testament to the iPod-armed, multi-genre appreciating generation that bills like tonight’s can be put together.
The similarities between the two artists who grace the Green Door Stores stage tonight are few and far between – in-fact the only similarity may be that both Japandroids and Cadence Weapon hail from the same Northern Hemisphere based country.
Cadence Weapon aka the Polaris nominated artist and fast spitting former Poet Laureate of Edmonton Rollie Pemberton, casts out appealing raps of social commentary and channels them over tight rhythmical wares that draw comparisons to a less poppy Childish Gambino; it is a vastly different musical territory to that which Japandroids dwell within but one that also finds favour with the assembled in front of him.
The positive buzz circling around the room has built to near deafening anticipation by the time that Japandroids appear. The straight talking rock ‘n’ roll spirited duo of Brian King and David Prowse recently revealed that they had split slightly before the release of their 2008 debut album Post-Nothing, yet the unexpected attention gained convinced them that it was only right that they carried on.
In that sense tonight’s opener 'The Boys Are Leaving Town’, from the aforementioned record, is the perfect way for them to kick the set off; it’s a hard hitting reminder that they have left their home-turf and are here fully recharged and with a van full of new songs to entertain is with. It's of little surpris, therefore, that tonight’s show involved plenty of thrashing about and hair tossing from frontman Brian while David batted away at his drum kit.
Choosing to alternate between airing new material such as ‘Younger Us’ and ‘The House That Heaven Built’ (from the forthcoming album Celebration Rock)’ and more familiar numbers proves to be a workable route: the songs seamlessly blending into each other, finding similarities rather than introducing Gok Wan style makeovers.
While the new stuff is largely welcomed, the biggest cheer of the night is ultimately kept for their fuzz adorned self confessed Radiohead-lite “Creep” of a song ‘Young Hearts Spark Fire’ which they confess they had given serious thought about no longer playing.
Over all, Japandroids comfortably navigated the problems of being a guitar and drum based two piece by serving up more of the same, but when the core ingredients are already good, why unbalance it by trying to be anything different?