White Stripes

6 Aug

Picture of White Blood Cells the White Stripes album

Rootsy hard edge punksters? or Granny’s favourite?

White Stripes hit London The Detroit sensation brings blues for the new century to London Here on RQ we love muscians who love music. That’s why we love the Blues and love roots music. White Stripes are a brother and sister team who have taken the blues and brought it to a new audience in the 21st century. As they hit the UK we find out what makes them the freshest thing from the states since punk rock.

audio transcript

On the trailer for this review, I said that I was going along to the White Stripes gig in London and that I’d give you a full report. Well, after an unusual amount of media coverage here, that gig – and all the others on their UK mini tour of insignificant pub and small club venues – had sold out entirely. What’s going on? Well, let’s get that bit out of the way quickly! What’s going on is that the press haven’t had anything to call ‘the next big thing’ so they’ve gone a bit overboard on hailing the White Stripes. But don’t panic – let’s talk about the music. So as not to disappoint you, I got hold of their latest CD ‘White Blood Cells’. [Music] Pretty dirty stuff, you must be thinking, but, you know, John Lee Hooker isn’t exactly Mr Clean. But try this. [Music] Mmmm, nice. You could even persuade your Granny to buy that one. And that’s what you get with White Stripes. A huge dose of energy that scrawls up the blues and folk based numbers into what the press – wrongly in my view – are calling a Punk vision. To me it’s the instrumentation that works – a guitar that’s veering out of control, feels like Jimi Hendrix and a raw drum-kit that could have been stolen from Sun Studios before Elvis arrived. [Music] You can tell I like it, if you get to see them live, let me know…

audio transcript

The White Stripes have suddenly become the biggest thing since sliced bread. They are reassuringly based in the roots and blues, but give a hard edge, which many are calling Punk. This edge is made harder by the empty instrumentation – often just guitar and drums. No-one could live up to the recent hype, but for all that, they are still very, very good.

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