Lostprophets, Brixton Academy, London

Brixton Academy, London

Metal is the only genre where bands strive to look as unappetising as possible, out of the conviction that prettiness is the slippery slope to mass approval. Lostprophets have had problems from the start. They have film-star bone structure and, consequently, a cred-shattering teeny-bopper fanbase. Young, female and breathless is the order of the day at this show, and by "young" I mean people who weren't born when grunge reigned. One nail-varnished pouter admits she is nine. She watches with quiet detachment in her hooded logo sweatshirt, bemused by the shambles unfolding on stage.

Which makes two of us. Whatever this Welsh sextet have - and clearly they have something, to go by the purposeful shoving down at the front - it is being swallowed up by dire acoustics and spat out as messy riffage with disconcerting random halts. There is melody somewhere inside the noise, which explains why they were signed by the Chili Peppers' management, but the driving force at this show is splattery bonhomie, not music.

The confusion is increased by a DJ called Jamie Oliver, who clatters around his decks like a puppy, and singer Ian Watkins, who breaks off songs in the middle to ramblingly address the shovers. The rugby prop-forward of a drummer excavates Adam Ant's Burundi beat, providing much-needed spice, but the guitarists undo his work by being uniformly tuneless. But it doesn't matter that the lyrics are lost in the murk, because the band's "straightedge" ethic forbids homages to lager or crack, and what's nu-metal without that?

The lack of inspiration could have something to do with having toured their (rather fine) album, Thefakesoundofprogress, for two years. They seem to be sick of it, even if the crowd are not, and are intent merely on galumphing through it. "This is the last time we're going to play this," is Watkins's introduction to their 2001 hit, Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja, and to their credit they see it off with a crisp brevity that would have been welcome an hour before. The sated young fans have no complaints, though, and skip out without a murmur when no encore is forthcoming. Presumably it is about supporting British metal through thick and, as tonight, thin.

Contributor

Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Lostprophets, Brixton Academy, London

Brixton Academy, London

Leonie Cooper

10, Jul, 2006 @8:49 AM

Lostprophets, Astoria, London

Astoria, London

Betty Clarke

13, Feb, 2004 @2:51 AM

Article image
Lostprophets | Pop review
Skilled balancers of grumpy emo and pop, Lostprophets sound like Rage Against the Machine if they were less angry, and Welsh, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

16, Feb, 2010 @11:00 PM

Lostprophets: Weapons – review
Their mainstream rock is always listenable, yet rarely unique, but they play these songs with passion and swagger, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

29, Mar, 2012 @9:31 PM

Article image
CD: Lostprophets, Liberation Transmission

(Visible Noise)

Caroline Sullivan

23, Jun, 2006 @5:11 PM

Lostprophets: The Betrayed | CD review

There's some hamfisted lyrics in the latest from Lostprophets – but thankfully they get drowned out, says Will Dean

Will Dean

22, Jan, 2010 @12:00 AM

Lostprophets: The Betrayed | CD review
Four albums in, these Welsh rockers remain stranded between hardcore and humdrum, writes Hugh Montgomery

Hugh Montgomery

17, Jan, 2010 @12:05 AM

Article image
Lostprophets: 'He said he was innocent'

When lead singer Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to 13 child sex offences, his former bandmates went into a state of shock. Caroline Sullivan finds them angry and confused, trying to pick up the pieces with their new band No Devotion

Caroline Sullivan

10, Jul, 2014 @6:07 PM

Article image
Lostprophets members reunite to form new band

Following the imprisonment of singer Ian Watkins, the five other members have linked up with Thursday's Geoff Rickly

Sean Michaels

01, May, 2014 @10:29 AM

Article image
Lostprophets announce split following Ian Watkins sex offence allegations

Pontypridd band end 15-year career as lead singer prepares to stand trial for alleged offences including raping a baby

Sean Michaels

02, Oct, 2013 @9:20 AM