Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Live In Paris

BRMC in a 20mph zone.

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When they first emerged as the West Coast biker gang counterpoint to the New York indie explosion of 2001, BRMC’s breakout hits Spread Your Love and Whatever Happened To My Rock’n’Roll (Punk Song) cast them as The Jesus & Mary Chain riding jet-black hogs into Death Valley for a ghoulish glam burn-up.

Their problem was, like the Reid brothers, they struggled to redraw a doomy garage rock blueprint that’s as set-in-stone as the Pompeii dead. Their solution? Take your foot off the throttle.

This double CD set captures them playing their 2013 seventh album Specter At The Feast in full at the Theatre Trianon in Paris in February 2014 (the show is also captured on the accompanying DVD). Their gritty, gas-revving goth-Zep rockers remain formulaic but the artful and affecting slower numbers – Some Kind Of Ghost, the Spiritualized gospel of Sometimes The Light and a spine-quaking eight-minute Lose Yourself – expose tender flesh-wounds beneath the gnarled leather hides of Robert Levon Been and the perma-smoking Peter Hayes.

An extra hour of grinding greaser rock – the elephantine White Palms seeping into Lennon’s I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier and Spread Your Love coming on like a Kraken T.Rex - stretches their already laboured point, but an unamplified acoustic Mercy proves them, at last, at least a three-trick pony./o:p

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.