With Meg White's heavy drum beats and Jack's amazing guitar skills, this duo could be the best band in America. The Detroit pair have shocked millions with the announcment of the travesty of them not being brother and sister and infact being the worlds most famous divorcee couple. But this didn't change their amazing run in music and infact made them a better and more popular band. With Jack's infamous fight with The Von Bondies' frontman Jason Treiblster and his broken finger you can realy appreciate their courage. This courage was shown when they headlined the 2004 Reading/Leeds festival which was an outstanding performance. With such hits as "the hardest button to button" and the spectacular " Jolene" cover, this band cannot be disliked making them one of my favourite bands of this time.Their albums are :- De-stil Elephant White Blood Cells I recomend all of these because they are amazing
Ah the White Stripes, what darlings they are. Ugly-beautiful, far too white and far too Dylan obsessed. They seem like true weirdoes in a world of people who fit in. Maybe that’s why I like them; they’re a bit odd, like me. Or it could be their spanking poppy blues tunes. I fell in love (first bad pun of op alert) with the White Stripes when my friend gave me a copy of album no 2, De Stijl, on import, and every song from Hello Operator to Your Pretty Good Looking (for a girl) stuck right in the old noggin and wouldn’t budge. Glasgow Barrowlands, on the 10th of April 2003, was the third time I’d been fortunate enough to witness the spectacle of Jack ‘n’ Meg in the flesh, with the first being the Autumn of 2001 (when they were still waiting to ride the crest of their first wave of media hype), the second Gig on the Green 2002. After two fairly weak support bands (sorry, support bands always get the short end of the stick, but they were pretty bad), and a multitude of old Felix the Cat cartoons (all gigs should have between-act entertainment, and has anyone noticed how much of a stoner programme Felix the Cat is?) The White Stripes bound onstage to thunderous cheering and more than one yell of “get yer tits out Meg”, and without niceties, bound straight into “Little Room”. As usual, they draw out the beginning by starting with Meg’s heartbeat-like drumming, and making sure the audience are clapping along. After half of “Little Room” they switch smartly to “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”. The kids are on form tonight, although Jack’s girlish tones sometimes sound a little strained. The atmosphere is absolutely electric, and again, as with the Strokes, most of the audience wouldn’t care if the gig were terrible, they’d still leave raving about it. But it sure isn’t. Jack White is a real showman. Although n ot necessarily a beautiful man, he has such magnetic charisma onstage that it’s impossible not to be drawn to him, with his far-too-tight trousers, waxed hair and big sparkly eyes. He knows just how to draw out his songs until his audience are near breaking point, as on “Screwdriver”, where he draws out the signature guitar riff for so long that the audience is in total meltdown! The gig is typical White Stripes stuff, with the only surprises being the absence of “Fell in Love With a Girl” and “Hello, Operator”, two of the Stripes most well known songs. The audience know the new stuff as well as the old, and “Black Math” off the new “Elephant” album is in particular, incendiary and explosive, and this is coming from someone who was hearing it for the first time (this was before I bought the new album). Despite being low on surprises, the White Stripes gig is certainly the best I’ve been to this year (OK, so its only April, but I’ve been to about ten so far this year). Again, Jack’s interaction with the audience is key, he says little, and what he does say you can hardly hear, but it’s the songs that are important and that’s what he does best. The chunky, trademark pop-rock-country-blues-garage that the White Stripes play sound best in a live forum, the infectious guitar riffs are enough to send you through the roof, while Meg’s primal drumming sounds like the soundtrack to a Shamans ecstatic dance (and believe me, there’s enough peace herbs in this place to send you to heaven, if you get the drift). Meg, as usual, keeps her pretty self fairly quiet, and only sings one song, the sexy New-York-bar-blues track “In the Cold Cold Night”, which will no doubt send several pubescent indie boys into orbit. It’s a shame she doesn’t sing more than one tune, as she does have a lovely voice, and I would have liked to he ar “Rated X”, a b-side that often gets played live, just to show off Jack and Megs explosive chemistry. As usual, the two skinny Detroit kids fill the stage right up. They don’t need no bassist, backing guitarist or any of it, the two of them are enough for the rabid crowd, and so they should be. A two-person line-up could be a disaster for any other bands, but with the White Stripes it’s the thing that makes them a little different, and of course there’s the whole siblings/lovers debate, which continues to rage as Meg still insists that Jack is her baby brother (as she says on “Elephant”s last track, “its true that we love one another”). This is the beauty of the White Stripes. While they will never have the potential to play to massive crowds, the two of them in a medium-size venue will be enough. Maybe this will be there downfall, as they may not be able to play big venues without adding other people, and that would destroy the magic. Stand out tracks tonight are “I Want to Be the Boy Who Warms Your Mothers Heart” in which Jacks’ singing is angelic, sweet and sincere, and the light instrumental backing compliments the gorgeous track perfectly. Only the hardcores know the lyrics to this, and I certainly don’t, but it still remains one of the night’s greatest tracks. “I think I smell a rat” is another fave, here Jacks metamorphoses into a spitting, snarling, vicious creature, complimented by savage guitar licks, and heavy use of snare and crash cymbal from Meg. Most of the track sees Jack alternately whispering, and screaming out the lines “Walkin’ down the street, carryin’ a baseball bat, ooooh, I think I smell a rat”. The perfect alternation of quiet and savage to keep the audience (about an estimated 20% of which are stoned) on their little Converse-clad indie toes. “Jolene”, as always is a fav ourite, just for the comedy of Jack White singing “I’m begging of you please don’t take my man”. The entire audience knows and loves this song well. Its an absolute delight to hear live, Jack has the perfect high-pitched yet scratchy voice to pull it off, and also he is just feminine enough to pull it off. Perhaps a bit of a comedy one, but he sings it with plenty of passion, so you could well believe it well. “In the Cold, Cold Night” simply for the novelty of seeing the gorgeous Meg sing. The crowd goes so mad as she leaves her drum stool that I think the roof might well cave in. She does it so well that I wonder why she doesn’t take centre stage more often. She is just as magnetic as little Jack, and obviously much prettier. This one is such a classic that I thought it was a cover the first time I heard it, and she holds the audience just as spellbound as Jack does, only there are more cries of “marry me” and “nice knockers” with Meg on the mic. “Seven Nation Army” has also become an instant gig fave, and its signature guitar riff draws plenty of screaming from the overexcited and now very sweaty audience. It works to an explosive climax, and is a lot faster than the recorded version for extra oomph. Its another perfect gig fave, with quiet verses and deafening choruses. Just the way songs should be, bloody good on record but twenty times better live. “Your Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)”, OK, I had to put this in because its one of my fave White Stripes songs ever (partly because a guy once sung it to me during a local band night…bless). The entire audience loves this one just as much as me, if the quality of bouncing around and raucous Glaswegian singing is anything to go by (sounds kinda like a much more melodic football match), again it’s a lot faster than the one the album, and all the better for it, it has that heart-p ounding feel. Recorded, its cute, funny and gutsy, live its one of those songs that makes you smile and laugh and want to dance. “Screwdriver” again, this is one of my faves, purely for its piledriving, incredibly powerful guitar riff that lodges itself inside your brain- the perfect live track to show of Jack’s considerable guitar skills. Live, it is explosive, and suitable as one of the final tracks of the night, as it would stick in anyone’s brain. As the final chorus of the song comes to, Jack draws out three booming notes on his guitar, accompanied by three short thundering drum beats, for about a minute, by the end of which the audience are in raptures. The powerful gig finishes with a short encore of, well, “Boll Weevil”! And then the White Stripes leave the enraptured audience feeling sweaty, but in no way confused as to what just happened. The chemistry of the White Stripes is clearly enough to suffuse and entire building, yet there is no macho posturing, no (overt) sexual innuendos, just bloody good music played on a plastic guitar by a man who definitely knows how to use his fingers, and also knows how good music should be played- LOUD! Yep, definitely my gig of the year- until I go to see the Cooper Temple Clause that is!
The White Stripes - Manchester MDH - 14.11.01 This years Best New Band...or is it the Strokes, Starsailor or So Solid Crew. How fickle those London Media types are? Having said that unless you have been hibernating for the past six months there's absolutely no excuse for not knowing about Jack and Meg White...the sister brother married lovers from Detroit. After a tabloid frenzy much of tonight audience of here on the basis that they are to see the next Sex Pistols or the next Nirvana and when they are actually faced with the reality of a 2 piece US Garage band the reality dawns - "Oh I didn't know it was just the two of them. I thought they'd have a full band" are the cries from most of the audience as the band hit the stage. So surely they just sound like a couple of kids banging away in the bedroom then? Not so for just a drummer (Ed: Oh yes!!! She is female but a drummer all the same for all those Shed 7 fans out their) and a waif thin guitarist. As the first 4 minutes of guitar abuse begin you start to recognize how a humble tabloid hack could draw the Sex Pistols comparisons - punk rock through to the core even down to the uniform requirements of red, white and black. For all the furore of them signing to XL for £1,000,000 they also turned down the same figure to take part in advertising campaign for Gap. Although you wouldn't have blamed 2 poor kids from Detroit the chance to set themselves up for life you at least have to admire them for not selling out when the likes of so called Alternative acts like Tricky and Daft Punk. I'd still put money on it though that Gap get a couple of skinny waifs dressed in red and white selling the latest factory line crap. Sadly though it looks like the White Stripes are a case of too much too soon. Sure this may be their 3rd album but if were honest the press coverage isn't exactly translating into record sales and hereby lies a problem - The White Stripes are basical ly your standard US Garage band with better looks. Only the single "Hotel Yorba" and the cover of the country classic "Jolene" made the hairs of your next stand up and that surely isn't enough. You only have to look to a bands like Zen Guerilla, or tonight's support band The Von Bodies, who are ploughing the same brand of raw blues rock to realize we've heard this a thousand times before. With so many great bands heading out of the UK at the moment such as The Mull Historical Society and the Music its a shame that we have to look over to America for our heroes. The White Stripes are a good band but they're not a great one!!! Alex McCann