Rhian Daly reports on Art Brut – Barfly, Cambridge 28 January 2008

Art Brut
Two albums into their career and Art Brut still haven’t visited Cambridge. Until tonight, that is. They’ve brought with them A. Human, who open the show with blues inspired indie rock and a penchant for getting in people’s faces. Needless to say the majority of the crowd seem put off by their extreme up close and personal behaviour, with only a handful clamouring to meet the group’s front man after their set.

A short while later, Art Brut begin to make their way through the crowd to the stage. As they do so, a smoke machine is rather overenthusiastically set off, veiling the stage so effectively that once the band start playing they are no longer visible. Singer Eddie Argos struggles to find his microphone in the chaos, missing the first verse of opener Pump up the Volume. It’s alright though; soon the smoke disperses, leaving us with a clear view for most of the set, one filled with the best Brut songs and plenty of wit and humour to boot.

Bang Bang Rock and Roll and Direct Hit follow swiftly, while the band are still shrouded in mist. Things really get going when Modern Art is announced with Argos jumping into the crowd mid song. The set flies by in a blur of indie pop perfection and Argos’ between song banter, which feels less like a concert and more like a chat with a friend. During revered debut single Formed a Band; Argos once again leaps into the crowd, grouping total strangers together to create new bands, as is Art Brut tradition. Another tradition, the chant of 'Art Brut! Top of the Pops!', appears in final song Good Weekend, before the out of town heroes put down their instruments and head of for a well deserved rest.