REVIEW: Arkells, The Lexington
The best thing I can take away from Arkells' headline show tonight is how much fun I had. Even when I go to a gig which has just as good music, I've never had so much fun, despite just quietly standing at the back- though edging forward throughout - so I can only imagine how much fun those partying at the front with lead singer Max Kerman must have been having!
I knew the second they started they weren't British (before they started talking) definitely too happy and upbeat and major key for that. This Canadian band Arkells brought London's Canadian population together at The Lexington for a kinda gig you don't usually get in London!
I admit, I was late I did I miss the first few songs, and now I regret that, because I fell in love with what I did see and only wanted more! Tonight I was simply craving some quality live music and came to a venue I trust, and it didn't let me down! I knew it would be a good one the second I arrived though, the downstairs of the Lexington was absolutely empty, and I had to argue with the door person to let me buy a ticket, so I was curious to see what the buzz was about. I had never heard of these guys before tonight, so I'm glad I came across them! So I'm going to review all of what I saw at least.
I came in whilst there was a clear adoration of Peter Gabriel and Genesis being verbalised, Kerman describing a 5 hour walking tour they did of Genesis focused attractions in London earlier in the day. Learn something new about your own city every day... Anyway, aside from the microphone cable, which I haven't seen at a gig, well, ever, Arkells were definitely rock n roll, and these American rock n roll influences were more than prominent in Arkells' music, definitely feeling like an 80s band you would see in an American bar! We even got a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 'Dancing In The Dark,' with some stellar dancing from the band, and subsequently the audience, to enjoy.
The connection between the band and the audience certainly made me feel I was over the Atlantic for a bit. Kerman came down in the audience multiple times and just rocked out with the sufficiently drunk audience, and though seeming rather disappointed it was a Tuesday night at the start of the night, urging the audience to "dance like it was Friday," it's safe to say he achieved his goal!
The encore was definitely my favourite set of songs. They did an almost acoustic set up- the only song where Kerman used an acoustic guitar on the night, for song "And Then Some"- which was just so sweet and romantic! Slightly stepping away from their rock 'n' roll personas but still loved it all the same! They then performed their hits 'Private School' - which started with some strong synths!- and 'Leather Jacket,' which got some mighty cheers from the audience.
What was a surprise to me was how the audience all seemed to be hardcore fans- rarely in a 200 capacity venue do I see all the audience singing all the words back at the band!
So this gig was definitely an eye opener, and I love being able to see music created outside of England - brings a new perspective to music and the world... And you realise everything isn't all that bad because tonight I remembered that major key music DOES EXIST!