The Babe Rain­bow

Lon­don The Moth Club

Classic Rock - - LIVE! - Fraser Lewry

The ironic hip­ster boo­gie: seems so wrong, feels so right.

From Aus­tralia’s hip­pie idyll Byron Bay via the same peo­ple who bought you King Giz­zard & The Lizard Wizard, The Babe Rain­bow are an en­tic­ing prospect. Ridicu­lously good look­ing (singer An­gus Dar­ling has the boy­ish charm of a young Kurt Cobain, while gui­tarist Jack ‘Cool-Breeze’ Crowther looks like a man Ce­cil B. DeMille would cast as God), they’re in town to pro­mote their de­but al­bum, and they’re not play­ing by the rules.

Start­ing with a new song, in near dark­ness, it’s quickly ap­par­ent they don’t have to: the venue is sold out, ev­ery­one seems to know ev­ery word, and the au­di­ence groove and jive and shimmy in a way that hasn’t been seen in the wild since the late 1960s.

The shuf­fling Peace Blos­som Bo­ogy is a high­light. The stun­ningly funky Monkey Disco is another. Hell, they’re all high­lights. It’s like Canned Heat play­ing Abbey Road-era Bea­tles, via an ex­cur­sion to Stu­dio 54 at the height of disco. There’s crowd surf­ing, and a lazy swing through Blondie’s Heart Of Glass, and it all feels like it could col­lapse at any minute, but it doesn’t.

There’s no doubt that there’s a hip­ster el­e­ment to the band’s au­di­ence. But if we’re go­ing to start dis­miss­ing mu­si­cians be­cause some of their fol­low­ers serve lat­tes or de­velop mo­bile apps, then we’re doomed. The Babe Rain­bow are bril­liant.

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