Monday, September 22

The Virgins

Live Review
The Monarch, London - Friday September 12

Just because The Virgins inhabit inside the present-day talent pool of New York, doesn’t mean they’re inevitably gifted, all new woven punk and riveting anecdotes, prep’d up to vie with what would-be contemporaries of Vampire Weekend, MGMT and Amazing Baby. But if their as yet Stateside only debut record is anything to go by, this cramped north London pub is all set to experience one more add-on to NME’s Bands Making America Cool Again.
Dolled up in the manner of a scrawny Kid Rock modelling a flowery neck bandana, band leader Donald Cumming sure seems pumped. ‘Radio Christiane’ bears out if there’s one band lugging back The Strokes’ spirit of 01 into the current stream of 08 NYC it’s this lot. But as opposed to exhausting the exact same sluggish garage-feel (see under Tokyo Police Club), The Virgins are sugaring up their guitars via funk’d up thumps and soulful breakdowns, just ideal to groove to. Not that this typically still London crowd are getting down, even in the wake of a now pissed off Cumming yelling, “We don’t come over here every week you know!”
Then comes ‘She’s Expensive’, swelling up like ‘The Menace’-era Elastica by means of springy bass courtesy of the mirror image of a paunchy Pete Wentz, on top of which are Cumming’s routine dame-centric mumblings. Saving the best till last, ‘Rich Girls’ is what all in here have been yearning for, and where The Virgins truly glisten from the disco-burdened rock they’ve suggested all night.
This isn’t the seminal moment that’ll blast these off into the ever-aching hype machine, but a further example of why the capital of the world kicks butt more than any other. And don’t hate em cause their mates with Ronson.

The Virgins Myspace