The Black Keys - Brixton Academy (02/11/2010)

Anthony Cody | Saturday, 06 November 2010

The Black Keys - Brixton Academy (02/11/2010)

Waiting for The Black Keys, the crowd buzz with anticipation and excitement. Something special is about to be witnessed. When Dan and Patrick finally grace us with their presence, the welcome which greets them is spine-tingling. Immediately they burst into 'Thickfreakness', one of the biggest riffs seen since the days of Plant and Hendrix. The pair have a huge stage presence, backed up by buckets full of talent, not to mention a back catalogue that would put most rock acts performing today to shame. '10 A.M. Automatic' followed, a song which is more exciting than watching Inception on acid.

The Black Keys are in town ultimately to promote their sixth studio album, 'Brothers', which requires them to bring two musicians onto the stage to accompany them for a few of the new songs. The album has achieved critical success, but die-hard Black Keys fans will argue it doesn't quite reach the raw brilliance of previous releases. 'Next Girl' is a fine single; catchy, smart and groovy but without the bite of past hits. 'Tighten Up' is better, especially when the band changes tempo midway through, treating the listener to a rollicking final minute.

The two backing musicians leave Dan and Patrick to once again play as a twosome for the closing twenty minutes. Simply put, they rock it. 'Strange Times' and 'I Got Mine' are venomous beasts of songs. Dan is the kind of guitarist that leaves you scratching your head. The things that that man can do with a guitar, it must be some sort of witchcraft or wizardry.

The paradox of the evening is that the fewer people on stage there are, the bigger the sound was. A strange one admittedly, but when Patrick and Dan are on stage, they own it. Their new material added a bass guitar and some keyboards, but there can be no doubt that this gig hits its peaks when the two of them are on stage.

Rating: 4.5/5