After reading an article in the Scotsman in January 2003, reviewing their debut album which ticked all the boxes, feedback, influences like the Jesus and Mary Chain, Phil Spector and in bass player/singer Sharin Foo a Debbie Harry for the noughties, I decided to check them out at King Tut’s.
From the opening squeal of feedback and an incredible rendition of Everyday by Buddy Holly I was hooked. The set ran to just under 40 minutes and was full of feedback, distortion, a guitarist who looked like he was fitting and way back in the mix sweet vocal harmonies from Foo and Sune Rose Wagner. Stage presence was nil, however you can’t have everything and the racket they made was wonderful and more than made up for it.
At the end of the set, I went to the merchandise stall and bought the first full release a 7 track mini album and this was where my problem with the Raveonettes began. The next day when I put on the cd what I heard was good but was no where near as full a sound as I had heard the previous night.
I have bought the four albums and all of their singles but still they don’t quite match up to what they sound like live. If I had never seen them live I would probably love the albums more, with the feedback, Spectorisms and great harmony vocals what’s not to love but it just seems to be lacking that extra bite. On the recent download only eps (what’s that all about?) they have dabbled with remixing and and adding electronic beats to their sound which in my opinion does not enhance their sound.
Since that first night in 2003 I have seen the Raveonettes on a 5 further occasions and the gigs have all been great, even the night when they blew the PA in King Tut’s. The last time, they were touring as a 3 piece and had guest drummers, the female drummer on the night I saw them was the coolest drummer I have ever seen. This was probably the best performance I have seen from them and the reduction to just the 2 core members and a guest, rather than diminish their sound made it stronger and more primal . There is still, however, a complete lack of stage presence.
The Raveonettes may not be the most original act in the world but live and to a lesser extent on record they make a beautiful racket.
The Raveonettes – Remember
The Raveonettes – Black Satin
The Raveonettes – Everyday (live Roskilde 2003)