Club Academy, Manchester
Tuesday April 26th, 2011
Whether it was an administrative mix-up or a serious error of judgement about how big Best Coast actually are, the switch of venue from the large, uncharacteristic Academy 2 to the pokier but far more charming Club Academy was a good one, as they haven’t quite amassed such an army of fans, despite a stellar review of their debut album by yours truly last August.
Their songs, mostly about smoking weed and Bethany Cosentino’s cat, run the risk of being self-reflexive, not so much as sounding feline but more in the way that I’ve heard recent murmurings of their live shows being affected by strung-out, hazy pot binges. Tonight Bethany is probably high but regardless of whether she is or not, it doesn’t detract from her performance. In fact, if she is then it enhances the experience as she and Bobb Bruno deliver an electrifying show. Five songs in, and the one security guy isn’t able to prevent ten or so stage invaders who proceed to dance around the stage whilst hugging Beth and Bobb and screaming every single word of Boyfriend as loud as they possibly can. Other album highlights Goodbye and Crazy For You are aired, as well as a few new tracks.
Their stoner-surf-garage rock, whatever you want to call it, is delivered at breakneck pace and full of energy tonight. Their lyrics have been criticised for their simplicity and lack of depth, but this merely adds to their charm. For those who don’t always want to indulge in Morrissey’s misery or Paul Banks’ latest existential dilemma, Best Coast offer throwaway yet painfully accurate descriptions of wasted days, sitting in and waiting for something - anything - to happen while riding the hash cloud and rollercoaster of emotions.
Bethany is a constant delight throughout the night with her ramblings and anecdotes regarding her cat, Slipknot, the Royal Wedding, French audiences who don’t get them, a Frank Gallagher look-a-like who has brought a dog to the show, and singing J.Lo’s Love Don’t Cost A Thing (before asking ‘who sings that?’). This is a band who clearly care about their audience having fun and who are enjoying the buzz that surrounds them at the moment. If you get the chance to see them, please please do so, and just hope you catch them on a good night. This will live long in the memory.
words: Ste Grindrod
Best Coast play The Arches, Glasgow (tonight, April 27), Queen’s Social Club, Sheffield (28), KOKO, London (29), Thekla, Bristol (May 1), Coalition, Brighton (2), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (August 30), Mojo, Liverpol (31) and End of the Road Festival (September 2).