Hadouken! - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
If a band have to stick an exclamation mark at the end of their name, they're either a) trying too hard or b) just plain desperate. So, which are Hadouken - sorry, Hadouken! - to be? Championed by Zane Lowe and hailed by the music press as the 'new Klaxons' (why do we need a new Klaxons when the original have only been with us for a year?), the Leeds quintet and their genre-bending mishmash of styles is converting previously black-clad, self-harming emo youths into poppered-up mini-ravers dressed in impossibly bright garments. So could the answer to the question be 'neither'? Maybe. That doesn't mean I have to like them, though.
I won't be too harsh. Admittedly, there is a palpable energy about their performance here in Wolves that makes one understand how the numerous teens in attendance have been won over. That's not saying much when these teens probably took their first sips of WKD tonight - perhaps followed by a sneaky whiff of amyl nitrate, GOSH. The hardcore edge to new single Leap of Faith thankfully surpasses any of the messes Enter Shikari have left steaming in their wake, and yet the band's commendable mix of grime, metal and underground rave can't help feeling calculated. They even come on stage to Pendulum's Slam, fer Chrissake!
The kids are loving it, though; unfathomably, a big-ass moshpit takes up half the floor for a big portion of the set, rowdy newcomers to the gig and 'nu-rave' scene getting down and dirty (and possibly unconscious) to the likes of Liquid Lives, while the few oldies - and, considering the audience's average age, 'oldies' constitutes 'twenty and over' - watch, bemused, from the back. Admittedly, the enthusiasm and spitfire rapping of the band's frontman, James Smith, is cause for some movement amongst the crowd. Meanwhile, his skinny-fit jeans and a cap and trainers combo that could be seen from space go towards explaining the crowd's crazy attire. The rest of the band are happy to stay on the sidelines - although the female keyboardist is proof that every band ever should have a female keyboardist - but their shared goal of creating a future where 'grindie' is the fullest genre on your Ipod seems achievable when they bring out their anthemic That Boy, That Girl. During this humorous, and quite venomous, attack on indie scenesters, one can finally see this band's vision and even your humble gig reviewer pulls a few belated shapes. Give them a few years to develop, and that exclamation mark might have earned its keep. Until then, at least your little bro or sis might find their world being changed by this lot.