Dogs Die In Hot Cars
When you hear the phrase “SUCK ON THIS,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Actually, I don’t want to know. But it isn’t British rock bands, right?
I’m not sure who at the BPI (the British equivalent of the RIAA) decided that sUK On This would make a nifty name for the British music showcase at SXSW, but I hope they were on Ecstasy at the time. (“sUK, like, U.K., get it? Yeah, me neither.) At Buffalo Billiards on Friday night, a bunch of seemingly polite, upstanding bands had to play underneath a banner that said sUK ON THIS. I missed all but the last two songs of The Go! Team‘s set, due to the massive line. (Thanks a lot, Pitchfork! If it wasn’t for you, nobody would have been there! Even their publicist got turned away at the door!) They were totally Dance Party USA err.. Dance Party UK. A bunch of scruffy indie kids with big goofy grins on their faces, two female drummers, and a dynamic diva out front leading the crowd in The Wave. I overheard some guy at a table with a “Reserved for MTV” sign on it saying “It was just some girl doing Jazzercise.” No photos, sorry– I couldn’t get close enough. They’re playing a couple of shows in NYC this coming week, so I’m going to try to check them out then.
The place cleared out after Go! Team, insuring plenty of room for bopping around to Dogs Die In Hot Cars. Their set was quite a disappointment, and now I think the Kaiser Chiefs have switched places with them as my favorite XTC/Madness/Specials-aping bouncy pop band from the UK. There was one moment of beauty, though, when everybody but the singer and the keyboardist left the stage, and the pair duetted on their debut album’s bonus track.
Even more people left before Embrace took the stage, leaving just the hardcore faithful and me, who had never heard them until I got a promo of their new album and decided that it’s better than anything I’ve ever heard by any of those sad-sack Brit adult-contemporary bands like Coldplay (except for “Yellow”, duh), Keane, Travis, etc. Embrace used to be Britpop king shits, but then the hype cycle rolled right over them and now they’re trying to stage a comeback. This made for a quite pleasurable show-going experience, as everybody in the audience was super into the band, the band was so grateful for the love, and I thought we were all gonna float away on little fluffy clouds of mutual admiration.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 20, 2005