After catching Giant Drag at Bowery Ballroom, and grabbing a quick and tasty bowl of pho tai gan at Pho Grand, I made it to Mercury Lounge to see the NYC debut of Art Brut. What a great show. Seemingly everyone in attendence not only knew the words to all the songs, but also brought their cameras, if Flickr is any indication.
As you’d expect, frontman Eddie Argos — he of the suspect mustache and surreal eyebrows — is a very funny, entertaining frontman. What I wasn’t expecting, though, was how tight the band was. They really kicked out the jams. (I am a sucker for standup drummers, and Mikey B stayed on his feet the whole time.) Played nearly all of Bang Bang Rock and Roll, minus "Fight!" and "Stand Down," plus b-side "These Animal Menswe@r" and two new songs: "Blame it on the Trains" and a really really new one that hadn’t quite been finished yet.
Eddie updated some of the lyrics: in "Moving to LA" he changed "Drinking Hennessy with Morrissey" to "Drinking sherry with Bryan Ferry" (though he through in the original line at the end) and suggested what a "Move to NYC" might be like, rhyming Union Square with Jad Fair. "Emily Kane" was updated as well, with the whole "I don’t even know where she lives" bit replace with what’s happened since Emily heard the song.
It’s just as well they didn’t do "Fight!" as there was a mostly-good natured pit going. Mostly. This little mohawked dude had been knocking back shots all night, kept offering shots to the band (Eddie declined, nicely), and then almost got in a fight with a hipsterish-looking guy right before the encore. (The mohawked dude’s girlfriend [or maybe just friend] pulled him away).
Saw one notable in the crowd — David J. of Bauhaus/Love & Rockets, who seemed to be enjoying himself.