The Killers @ The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 10th March 2004

It seems that every time you listen to Radio 1 or whack on MTV2 these past days, we are hit with the psychedelic catchiness of Killers’ latest single ‘Somebody Told Me.’ As soon as we hear that someone ‘has a boyfriend, who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year’ we are unable to muster the willpower to change the channel until long after those final ‘doo doo dahs’. However on 10th March I marched into the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham only having heard the two songs on their website a couple of times. It was hard to know what to expect.

So, over a quiet pre-gig pint, I happen to be glancing through a tattered obscure music magazine, and nose through a relatively brief article about The Killers. A polite cough over my shoulder announces the presence of drummer Ronni Vannucci, who declares that ‘yes that is an awful picture of me’. This introduction to the Killers personally also matches them as a band; polite and discrete, yet with a self assured confidence with that only-an-American-can-pull-off cockiness. As the first tones of first single ‘Mr. Brightside’ fire up, we know we are in for a swagger of a show. Front man Brandon Flowers has a flamboyance on stage to match both that air of maturity but also his rather ridiculous name. Prancing around between the lead mic and his trusty keyboard gazing attentively into the confused crowd, Flowers definitely looks the part. So after the first couple of songs, my rather basic knowledge of the Killers had expired. The rest would have to be a surprise, and a very pleasant, and yes, a jump-up-and-down/nod-your-head-frantically catchily pleasant surprise it turned out to be.

So how would you describe the Killers? Well think Joy Division, but catchier, Interpol but slightly cheerier, Duran Duran, and maybe a bit of Blondie, New Order and early U2 thrown in for good measure. A slice of electronica kick starts ‘On Top’, another bouncing broiling tune, before slowing down for a couple of quieter songs mid-set. As ‘Somebody Told Me’ is announced as the set closer, the more informed members of the crowd start pogoing their way to the front for an oh so happy jump around and sing-along, perhaps summing up The Killers. A good fun band, who know it and revel in it, to make some extremely catchy, and lyrically interesting pop songs. With songs about androgynous girlfriends what more do you need?

To make the night complete, post encore Flowers and co bend down and send white round things frisbeeing into the crowd. Handwritten set-lists on paper plates add an extra and different touch to proceedings, yet it seems so natural already for these boys. A good live performance is always a good gauge of a band, and now the great waiting game starts, as we wait eagerly for June 7th and their debut album ‘Hot Fuss.’

Set List:

  • Mr. Brightside

  • Smile

  • On Top

  • Midnight

  • Andy

  • Under The Gun

  • Jenny

  • Indie Rock N Roll

  • Somebody Told Me

  • Start All These

    Stuart Davey