Vampire Weekend and Chutes (4 stars)

Vampire Weekend and Chutes


Hobo at the Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sun 11 Nov
The unexpectedly large Sunday night turnout here was no doubt down to the appearance of New York’s Vampire Weekend, a band much-touted by Radio One in recent weeks. Edinburgh’s Chutes weren’t just here to make up the numbers, though, and the support act provided a professional, playlist-friendly set themselves.

Originality’s the main difference between the two bands, however. Chutes, a quintet led by singer Daniel Abercrombie, make a noise as crisp as their smart Ian Curtis outfits, and anyone who appreciates Editors’ bombast will love their familiar, if feverish vibe. Vampire Weekend, on the other hand, are like Talking Heads covering Fela Kuti – like nothing you’ve ever heard, in other words.

Sharp and danceable afrobeat rhythms underpin angular late period post-punk guitars and, yes, it’s a bit twee in places. Yet, the preppy young quartet are gifted musicians, Ezra Koenig is a compelling frontman with a warm and easy wit, and their knack for previously-unimagined pop compositions like ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ and ‘Mansard Roof’ is to be admired. Just put Paul Simon out of your mind and enjoy. (David Pollock)

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