Following last summers festival blow-outs due to a crashed car and a mangled hand, The White Stripes return to the UK to satisfy the appetites of their under fulfilled Brit fans. Dressed head to toe in Black and Red Jack & Meg take the stage at the opulently adorned Empress ballroom.
Jack White - darkly manic and with shrieking voice hammers through the opening tracks which include Black Math & Take a Whiff On Me' , beating his guitar, the instrument howls & so does he. Instantly the fruits of a year on the road are evident - everything is played at break-neck speed and with lots of primitive energy, passion and splendor.
Jack gets to be Jimmy Page & Jimi Hendrix without coming across like a copyist. Meg's unremitting pounding is all that's needed to fill the hall with sound & between the two of them enormous energy is created.
Meg gets her moment when she leaves her drums and takes center stage clad in tight black t-shirt and black and white leggings, to sing In The Cold, Cold Night' .
Slotting Elephant's lead tracks into the set to the delight of the newer fans Jack & Meg produce hard edge renditions of The Hardest Button To Button, I just don't know what to do with myself, there's no home for you here, Ball and biscuit and the thumping Seven Nation Army. We are also treated to Fell in love with a girl not the painfully tame Joss Stone version but the untamable original.
The brilliance of The White Stripes live is rooted in how two people can create wild rock n' roll with one guitar and one bad drum kit. Using the space between the notes two people locked into the sound lift the heavy blues songs beyond their given place and take them skyward while remaining artsy and understated. If you haven't caught them before make sure you do.