Lostprophets, Brixton Academy, London

Brixton Academy, London

Being good looking and well dressed isn't normally the type of thing that gets you a lot of stick, but in the harsh world of nu-metal it's up there with your mum shrinking your best hoodie in the wash. Pretty Pontypridd boys Lostprophets know this only too well, having suffered a UK backlash against their wipe-clean FM-friendly emo a few years ago, which saw them stripped of their hard rock credentials. They may have lost the more dogmatic of their fans, but they have evidently gained legions more supporters since: their third album Liberation Transmission (recorded in Hawaii, no less) is currently topping the charts, and tonight's show gets a rapturous reception.

Singer Ian Watkins isn't like other rock frontmen. He springs on to the stage to the blistering New Transmission in his preppy white shirt and black tie, and struts across it as though it's a catwalk somewhere in Milan. Constantly preening, pushing his expensive-looking flopping fringe from his puppy dog eyes, he generally acts as if he is more than a little bit in love with himself. He's not the only one: during a rather unsuccessful minute's silence for the victims of the July 7 bombings there are, among an impressive selection of yelled expletives, various calls of "Marry me Ian!" from the sweaty throng.

The proposals are of a piece with the band's unrepentant niceness, a trait typified by the moment when the crowd are politely requested to sing along with the pounding ballad Rooftops and then thanked effusively afterwards for complying. The music, too, is little more than tuneful amped-up pop, with an industrial edge that just happens to be played very, very loud. Still, the band's energy can't be faulted - all six members are going at full pelt, especially their exceptional drummer, Ilan Rubin, who has, amazingly, only turned 18 today. It's just all a little too clean-cut really to be taken seriously.

· At Brighton Dome on July 10. Box office: 01273 709709. Then touring.

Contributor

Leonie Cooper

The GuardianTramp

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