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It’s no exaggeration to call The Rapture’s ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ the most important single by a guitar band in the last decade. Following just a few months after LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Losing My Edge (both were produced and released by DFA), it changed the idea that you could actually dance to indie. From there on in cowbells, squealed vocals and post-punk guitar chops were no strangers to a dance beat, whether played by a drummer or a drum machine. It brought on the indie-dance sound that dominated New York, London and Brighton.
So there’s a lot of love for The Rapture in our city. Which is a good job, because their recent LP – a return to DFA – has got an absolute kicking in the press. And not completely unfairly either. But as patchy as ‘In The Grace Of Your Love’ is, The Rapture have a solid back catalogue of singles to draw on – so many they’ve retired classics like ‘Sister Saviour’.
The first thing that’s apparent is that Luke Jenner is extremely chirpy tonight, perhaps buoyed by a packed Coalition. The early set plods along but turns a corner when the young fans down the front try and disprove the “People don’t dance no more” claim of ‘W.A.Y.U.H.’. And when the New York quartet dive into ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ with as much enthusiasm as when they played it at The Freebutt all those years ago, things really take off. The dancefloor becomes a moshpit before turning back to a dancefloor as the room explodes.
Gabriel Andruzzi steps out from behind his keyboard for the best display of mad-eyed cowbell we’ve seen. It’s a welcome break from Luke Jenner’s smiley charm taking the brunt of the performance. From there ‘Echoes’ and ‘Olio’ remind us why they were so important in the early 2000s. ‘Come Back’ is a flat way to end the set though but provokes demand for an encore from the rabid crowd. Anyway, we know they haven’t done the two really good songs off the new LP yet.
‘How Deep Is Your Love’ is a revelation live – a sing-along, clap-along, euphoric monster who’s reaction tops even ‘Jealous Lovers’, provoking some excellent dad dancing from Jenner. An emotive take on ‘Sail Away’ rounds off a dramatic return after five year away from Brighton. The Rapture have still got it.
Words and pictures by James Kendall
Date: Friday 4th November 2011