The Last Shadow Puppets - Wolverhampton Civic Hall

When the Civic Hall stage looks crammed, there has to be a lot of people on it. Trust Alex Turner and Miles Kane to make the boards creak, bringing their full orchestra to Wolvo for their first headline tour as the Last Shadow Puppets. They went head to head with Metallica at Reading, bringing a touch of class to the muddy proceedings and kicking it in the process. Granted, I only saw it on t'telly but this 'side project', which really shouldn't work, seemed to be overtaking the boys' previous good form. Only tonight, when it appears half of the string section is struggling to remain on stage, do you get sense of how big this really is.

Due to a ticket mixup at the box office, I arrive at the gig halfway through the anxious Separate and Ever Deadly. I've missed one of this year's best singles The Age of the Understatement but, as Turner and Kane implore us to save them from the secateurs, they prove they've got more bombast up their dapper sleeves despite only one album to their name. The slower-paced songs really come to life with the orchestral backing, The Chamber making more of an impression than it ever did on record and current single My Mistakes Were Made For You soaring to the skies. Still, despite the espionage thriller In My Room strangely falling flat, the highlights come when rock sensibilities collide head-on with the orchestra, as on I Don't Like You Anymore. It's curious that James Ford, main man with acid-poppers Simian Mobile Disco, is propelling all this, proof that where Alex Turner goes, great drummers follow.

Turner himself looks a little bemused at the great reception he and his chum are receiving, as if they don't deserve all the plaudits with only guitars slung around their necks. Whether closer Standing Next To Me was written with them thinking they'd be playing with a full orchestra behind them is unclear but, as the two of them croon over the music, it becomes clear that this really does work. And it still shouldn't.

Category Gig Review

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