The Horrors/The Fratellis, Astoria, London

Astoria, London

More than one new band has met its downfall by appearing on the front of a music paper before anybody wanted to read about them. Will recent NME cover starlets the Horrors go the same way as Terris and the Distillers? It wouldn't be surprising if the buzz around them doesn't last long into 2007, but if it does, they'll leave behind a lurid residue. The leaders of the goth revival that is supposedly about to sweep all before it, the black-clad Southenders are easily the most memorable of the four groups who play tonight under the "NME rock'n'roll riot" umbrella.

Mystifyingly lumbered with opening the show - why didn't the lesser-known Dykeenies or Maccabees do it? - they are up in front of a mostly empty room at 6.35pm. Latecomers miss a set that pays exuberant homage to the goth outfits you would expect, and also to B-movies and American garage rock. There are fragments of the Mission and Nick Cave in the murky mix, and a large spoonful of Cramps-style rockabilly, all of it topped with braying surf-punk keyboards. It has all been done before, but nobody else is doing it now - and the Horrors add their own signature in the scarecrow-ish person of Faris Badwan, whose booming vocals seem too big for his body. The entire set, by the way, is conducted in the dark. Well, of course.

Although all four bands are ostensibly "headlining", the crowd is here for one alone - slick Glasgow power-poppers the Fratellis. They're the only ones of this lot to have had a no 2 album, Costello Music, and an anthemic hit single, Chelsea Dagger. The audience are crowd surfing from the first note of the set, and when Chelsea Dagger's staccato "da-da-da" introduction eventually comes along, they are bouncing off the walls. What are the odds on the Fratellis still being around in two albums' time? High, I'd say.

· At the Old Fire Station, Bournemouth, (01202 503888), tonight. Then touring.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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