White Stripes -Live

White Stripes - Brixton Academy - 11/04/2003
Tonight we rock, for the red & white army are in town - Jack and Meg, king and queen of the noughties.

Anticipation is at fever pitch - Brixton a ticket-tout gauntlet running all the way from the station to the venue. And there can be no more fitting setting for such a knee trembling event, The Academy glorious and cavernous - high above the stage those Moorish balconies and their elegiac golden glow.

All the portents seem to indicate that the next couple of hours will be a momentous and defining period in rocks fabulous history. The Stripes, you see, have just released the best album of the genre since Nirvana blew up the underground with Nevermind. Will the weight of expectation crush or inspire?

White Stripes - Brixton Academy - 11/04/2003 review @ www.contactmusic.com
At 9:30 they appear, first Meg - spectral in a stunning white trouser suit - then Jack - resplendent in red. The place goes mad, Contact Music gets the shivers.

What follows is a sublime exhibition of the art - thunderously loud, fiercely intelligent, completely original and utterly meaningful. The new tracks have already been elevated to favourite status, '7 nation army' storms like Zep + the Pixies, whilst their rendition of 'I just don't know what to do with myself', is banging, tear jerking and magical.

The biggest cheer of the evening comes when Meg alights her stool to deliver, 'Cold cold night' - none sweeter, Contact music's crush is elevated to a childish obsession.

Add Jack's fantastic flair for showmanship - he is the finest guitarist of his era - and you have a spectacle the like of which even this hallowed place has rarely seen.

Sir, Madam, your carriage to the Pantheon waits.

Alistair Hann