After missing him too many times, finally Thursday night we managed to get to see Albert Hammond Jr live in London at the Shoreditch Village. Given that we all are huge Strokes’ fans and we all appreciated AHJ’s 2 solo albums and EP we were looking forward to the gig.
This is what we thought about it:
- AHJ is an amazing guitarist with a kind of unique writing and stage appearance style. Any guitar music’s fan would love his shows given that there are 3 (!) guitars on stage
- Strangely enough we thought his best moments came when he sang and played alone on stage (ie Blue Skies). It was unfortunate that almost nobody knew the lyrics of his songs (not his fault though)
- It was good to see him in good shape, back on stage after a troubled dark (drug filled) period. He still has a witty sense of humour that doesn’t make him an amazing front man but captures the crowd
- He included 3 great covers fitted nicely his set: “Postal Blowfish” from Guided by Voices, “Last Caress” from The Misfits and… “One Way Trigger” from his own Strokes
- We will forgive him for the many false notes… 🙂
The final impression (that I never realized listening to the albums) is that he writes great songs (ok, this I knew) that should be sang by … Julian Casablancas (surprise, surprise!). If you take the best songs from his solo production, get Julian to sing on them you will probably get to a 12 tracks album of a much better quality that anything done by The Strokes since “Room On Fire”.
The real question is: why Julian & Co don’t give him more writing space?
One comment for the support act: Nightbox from Ireland, the real discovery of the night, an interesting band with a powerful wall of sound that got the venue walls and our body to vibrate! Keep an eye (and an ear on them!). You will hear more from us about them!
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