The Raveonettes - O2 Academy, Newcastle (16/12/2009)

Steven Storrie | Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Raveonettes - O2 Academy, Newcastle (16/12/2009)

Taking to the stage the band immediately ooze an old school insouciant cool. No wonder, when they launch into opener 'Gone Forever'. Probably the best song off new album In And Out Of Control, it's a surprise to hear it so early on, but its outro sets the tone for the magnificence to come; blistering lights and earth-shattering guitars that made revellers feel two foot taller and bursting with life.

Between-song banter is kept to a polite, minimalist "thank you so much". There's no time to waste with songs like these. 'Attack Of The Ghost Riders' loped with menace and featured an incredible strobe attack that could have burst the retina.

Sharin is more seductive than any Hollywood movie star and proves it on tracks like 'I Buried You Today' and 'Boys Who Rape Should All Be Destroyed', bathed in the spotlight and making us all fall in love. Sexiest of all though is 'Break Up Girls' which is a huge come on, starting all gently and finishing with the most astonishing, apocalyptic guitar noise you've ever heard. It crunches skulls beneath its roar and is genuinely astounding.

The band display their full arsenal when, at the other end of the spectrum, they tug at the heartstrings with gorgeous melodies. 'Lust' is as delicious as ever and the outro to 'Black Satin' is heartbreakingly beautiful; the kind you wish lasted forever. For good measure there are crowd pleasers like 'Love In A Trashcan' and 'Heart Of Stone', which wrings out even more power than the album version. Accompanying those come perfect pop songs 'Bang!' and 'Last Dance'.

'Aly, Walk With Me' is sublime. It stomps over everything like a ravenous, moody beast and its climax is the apotheosis of the brain smashing guitar noise and insane lightshow that has marked the night. We leave with our senses just about intact knowing we've witnessed a tremendous band making a tremendous noise. There can't be many guitar sounds that blister walls and fry brains while maintaining a beauty and yearning the way this band does. Truly astonishing.

Rating: 5/5