WE REVIEW RAZORLIGHT IN BOURNEMOUTH, WHAT HAPPENED?
After having to experience the ‘build them up to knock them down’ fall out. Razorlight imploded after the third album ‘Slipway Fires’ failed to live up to the success of their previous albums commercially and critically, with one critic describing them as being “about as indie as Margaret Thatcher “, leaving front-man Johnny Borrell as the only original member. What followed was some aborted album sessions and a brand new line-up before eventually completing their 4th album, ‘Olympus Sleeping’ in 2018.
2021 saw the return of the 2004 line-up , with Andy Burrows, Carl Dalemo and Björn Ågren, on drums, bass and guitar respectively, back together for the first time since 2009 supported by a best of entitled ‘Razorwhat?’, consisting of their first two albums and a couple of new tracks.
The penultimate date of their UK tour finds the band down on the south coast, supported by Manchester’s Afflecks Palace, who may have one of the most confident singers in the country in J Fender. Bigging up his band’s recent UK vinyl chart success at every opportunity.
But the sold out O2 Academy were here to see their mid 00’s indie heroes, and the crowd have changed rather a lot since I last witnessed the band in 2006. Painted on skinny jeans and white t’s have been traded in for baggy shirts and M&S denims.
The was a surprisingly noticeable lack of under 30’s in the crowd, seemingly the band have not picked up many new fans over the last 15 years. Though from the off Razorlight didn’t play like a band going through the same old songs to the same old fans, Borrell leapt around the stage, like a frustrated rock star with something to prove.
Maybe releasing the frustration, that it’s taken this long to get his band back on track whilst watching his contemporaries like Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian becoming regular festival headliners.
The set list, like their best of, concentrated on their first two albums, with the exceptions of new song ‘Violence Forever’, their last top ten single 2008’s ‘Wire To Wire’ and the only song from their last album ‘Good Night’. But to be honest the crowd seemed to love every second of it and though the mosh-pit days were now a thing of the past, the crowd sang along to every track, waving arms around whilst spilling their £8 pints of beer.
Dalemo andÅgren were also in great spirits though Dalemo choosing to wear the bands own merch was slightly questionable and what Burrows lacked in smiles he made up in talent and is a tor de force behind the kit and the band. Sporadically, Reni Laine would join the band to lay a few keys to tunes ‘Somewhere Else’ and the previously mentioned ‘Wire To Wire’ when she wasn’t at the side of stage taking pictures.
By the end of the show Borrell’s denim shirt was unbuttoned revealing a hairless, sweaty toned torso. Some ladies tried their best to reach out and touch his glistening flesh, pushing me to the side in their efforts. Leaving me with the conclusion that Razorlight are still an excellent live band, though a shame they didn’t perform ‘Hold On’ and that a reminder that I really need to hit the gym.