The Raveonettes in Brooklyn

I went to see The Raveonettes tonight; not because I really wanted to see them, but because they played at Southpaw, the venue that is less than 1 minute from our front door. I still can’t quite get my head around this; it is like a fantastic dream living so close to a music venue. Best of all, I can go home to use the bathroom. This is especially useful at Southpaw, as the cubicles don’t have doors they have curtains. There are no locks on curtains.

I saw the Ravonettes last year and they were astonishing, they were riding high after the (relative) success of their ‘Chain Gang of Love’ Album—a retread of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Psycho Candy’, or as they have it, Ramones inspired. Their new album ‘Pretty in Black’ attempts to broaden the appeal with very few successes. The best tracks are the ones that stick most closely to the JAMC template, and these are few and far between. One exception is ‘Ode to L.A.’ a great pop song that was one of the highlights of the evening.

They were never original, but they played with such enthusiasm that you couldn’t help getting caught up in it. ‘Little Animal’ was my favorite track tonight, and brought back memories of last year. The new songs don’t work in the same way and they didn’t seem half as confident as they used to. They looked awkward, like they wished they were someplace else. Someplace grander. I kept turning off and daydreaming.

Here they are toward the end of 2003, I got the picture from their website.


A small bugbear of mine, something that has really started to irritate me, and the main reason Heidi refuses to come to concerts, is how long you have to wait for the band to begin. There were 3 bands tonight and the doors opened at 8PM. I went down there at 10PM thinking I was pushing my luck a bit. I had to stand through about 8 songs from the second support. I have never, ever discovered a band through a support slot, they always suck. The only time they don’t is when the band you are going to see are the support band, tonight was no exception. Any thoughts on this?

After the second band finished, at about 10:30PM, The Ravonettes were nowhere in sight. They waited another hour to come onstage. Why???? It drives me crazy. My back was killing me by the time they came on. I am no spring chicken anymore; I can’t stand in the same spot for hours with no end in view. The doors open at 8PM the main act comes on at 11:30! It is madness; it is a weeknight, I am tired! And you can’t just take this into account, think to yourself “ah, a lesson well learned” and go later the next time, as sometimes they come on early.

I think the venues should have to advertise what time each band will be playing. This would make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable. When ‘The Magic Numbers’ played Sin-E they were the third act, and the time they were playing was advertised. I planned it like a military operation, I went in as they began, and left as soon as they were done. The whole trip into Manhattan and back was completed in fewer than 2 and a half hours. That is what I’m talking about.

Oh, and I am deaf. My head is screaming. God, I am getting old.

All in all, a pretty unsuccessful night, time for bed…

7 thoughts on “The Raveonettes in Brooklyn

  1. I was at the same show and definitely felt the same by the end – so ready to go! I was down in the curtained bathrooms when I heard the “my boyfriend’s back” cover, mainly funny because it was played during one of the interminably long breaks.

    HOWEVER i did think the first opener (the organ) was amazing. i had never heard of them before, but i bought their cd and listened to it on repeat for the next three days. wasn’t a huge fan of their stage presence, but the music was impressive.

  2. Wow, this is the first time somebody I don’t know has written on my blog. This is a great day. Thank you for your comments Ellen!

  3. i know, isn’t it exciting when that happens?

    i want to hear what you thought about the organ (if anything)… i’m very obsessed.

  4. Sadly I don’t remember the organ, I wish I could. I thought the sound was good though. Apart from being too loud on the front row

    Paul, I’m glad you made the your / you’re mistake, as I do it too. Carrie once told me she hated people that do that and then I went and did it in an email to her. She never mentioned it.

  5. Just caught them in Glasgow at King Tut’s. Support act cancelled so they came on very timely. I made couple of mistakes;

    I was front row left just under the PA. OMG! I was watching the guitarist go through the most amazing antics, dive bombing his stomp boxes, ratcheting super fast struming and ……….I couldn’t hear a thing ……..the bass and drum completely swallowed up the sound coming out of his guitar.
    I guess these guys like to play loud but in a room that barely holds 100 people you don’t need stadium sonics to get inspired.

    I had never heard their music before so I went unitiated. By the time their cover of my boyfriends back came on my ears were wet from the serum and earwax dripping out of them.

    Nice looking vintage fender guitars but could not hear a bloody (literally) thing. Why bring expensive guitars to a gig when cheap knock off will do just fine?

    Ciabatta C-i-a-b-a-t-t-a Ciabatta Peace out.

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