If you ever wondered what the aural output of a man with too much money and too much time on his hands sounded like – and we’re not talking about Paul McCartney here – look no further than Graham Coxon.
Promoting his latest solo album (A&E), the Blur guitarist’s gig at the Liquid Room last night was a curiously odd, self-indulgent affair.
One hundred minutes of shoegazing, sound-effects-pedal twiddling and classic indie-band posturing, Coxon’s four-guitar-pronged assault on the eardrums was received by one of the most static, unresponsive audiences this reviewer has ever witnessed.
“I get enough of that at home without being ignored on the road, too,” he moaned.
This was a strange response, as Coxon doesn’t appear to give two hoots if his audience likes what he does or not – he’s going to do it anyway.
Forever ruffling his hair and rubbing his face, he’s a clearly agitated man. He starts and stops little conversations with his band, pausing to occasionally gaze at things that may or may not be there.
He still wears those trademark geeky glasses of his, too – indeed, Coxon’s nerdy demeanour suggests that even at 43 years of age he still looks, and behaves, like an immature mature student.
Wherever Coxon’s head is at, though – and you really don’t want to go exploring it without a map – his hands are firmly in control.
With not a single fluffed note throughout, from a technical point of view it was intriguing to see one of the best guitarists of his generation finger-dance all over the fretboard.
As for the songs, they were (mainly) of the grungy persuasion – fast, beefy and packing a serious punch to the solar plexus. One minute, Coxon’s band sound not unlike The Ramones had they been brought up listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain instead of The Stooges.
Next, they’re on a Led Zeppelin rampage that happens to involve The Buzzcocks. Sadly, Coxon’s voice – which was shot to bits – didn’t help matters. But that’s by the by. Simply put, this was a self-absorbed, uncompromising performance, where the only person Coxon seemed to be entertaining was himself.