Gig review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

The Last Shadow Puppets

So, Gig Junkies make their now annual pilgrimage to Dublin to take in some splendid live music. Last year it was Sir Noel of Gallagher, this time round it was for more rock royalty in the guise of a certain Miles Kane and Alex Turner and their Last Shadow Puppets performing the last of 3 sold out gigs at one of Dublin’s original and most prestigious venues.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Olympia Theatre has to receive the award for the steepest venue known to man. Vertigo is obligatory. Opened way back in 1879 and then reopened in 1977 after the ceiling collapsed during a performance of Guys and Dolls (why wouldn’t it?) the venue maintains all of its splendour and opulence. The sort of venue you dream about playing as part of an upcoming band.

The Last Shadow Puppets

Not that this assertion can be levied at TLSP. Formed in 2007 the English supergroup comprising Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miles Kane (The Rascals and solo artist), James Ford (Simian, Simian Mobile Disco), and Zach Dawes (Mini Mansions). They have been stomping the boards (periodically) since the 2008 launch of their debut album, much acclaimed ‘The Age of the Understatement’.

The Last Shadow Puppets

Stockports Blossoms provided the support after just missing out on a podium finish of BBC’s Sound of New Music who describe them as Psych pop with a 60’s edge. Think a slightly more downbeat Catfish and the Bottlemen if you please. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got a decent enough sound combining synths with distortion laden guitars and the song writing is nice, but they seem to be lacking a bit of ‘ooomph’ that the Bottlemen have in droves. Hopefully it will come with time…

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets

The main event literally bounced on to the stage to ‘Black Plant’ an aural backdrop of horns and strings akin to an off key orc-ish hunting party from Lord of the Rings. Kane, donning a smart shirt and slacks took stage right, whilst Turner with his slicked back hair, shades, blue jeans and white vest took centre stage. Oozing confidence whilst straddling the monitor they kicked off with ‘Sweet Dreams, TN’ to the obvious delight of the largely delirious crowd.

The Last Shadow Puppets

If you’ve not heard the boys in their combined efforts, then their sound can largely be summed up by the theme tunes of 70’s TV shows. Think a cross between the ‘Flashing Blade’ and ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’ and you’re almost there. Nowhere is this more epitomised than with third song in and title track from their first album ‘Age of the Understatement’.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The beauty of having two of the hottest properties in the guitar scene since the turn of the century performing on the same stage at the same time is apparent tenfold. Not only are the songs “deadly” (to coin an Irish phrase) but you’re also getting 2 incredibly charasmatic front men for your money, Double bubble. Interchanging between lead and backing vocals, rhythm and lead guitar seamlessly it’s like the two of them have some twin-like 6th sense as to what the other is going to do as they take turns at being circus master.

The Last Shadow Puppets

Between Miles howling like a wolf and Alex complementing a delighted member of the audience on her feather boa, the pair treated the audience to a resplendent version of The Beatles ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ as well as a perfect selection of all the best bits from their first album ‘Age of the Understatement’ and this year’s ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’.

The Last Shadow Puppets

You can’t help but smile watching Kane and Turner performing together. Their on stage bromance is a sight to behold, from huge hearty embraces, singing together in to a shared mic and Alex crawling along the floor and through Miles’ legs. It’s a beautiful thing.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The obligatory “Ole Ole Ole” song greeted the pair during every interval and none more so than before the customary encore which saw Kane return to the stage stripped down to similar white vest to his cohort, like an ode to their favourite lightweight wrestling tag team. 3 songs later, including a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Is This What You Wanted’ and that was that. Lights up, a climb to the bottom of the rather steep stairs and a night on the tiles in Ireland’s finest.

The Last Shadow Puppets

Set List: Sweet Dreams, TN / Dracula Teeth / The Age Of The Understatement / Used to Be My Girl / Separate And Ever Deadly / The Element of Surprise / Aviation / Only The Truth / My Mistakes Were Made For You / I Want You – She’s So Heavy (Beatles cover) / Calm Like You / The Dream Synopsis / Bad Habits / Miracle Aligner / In My Room

Encore: Standing Next To Me / Is This What You Wanted (Leonard Cohen cover) / Meeting Place

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets

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