Art Brut + Robocop Kraus @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 29th April 2009


German indie popsters Robocop Kraus slip onto stage before anyone really noticed, looking like a combination of the parents who had taken position at the back of the venue while there kids pushed their way to the front, apart from lead singer Thomas Lang who looked like the long lost brother of 70’s odd bods Sparks.

The first few songs of there 40min set flew by gaining very little interest from from the crowd of Art Brutians until the singer stated “this is a song about a snake I saw near my house one day.. thinking it would be easy to pick up by the neck like they do in documentary and this is a song about what happened next” at this point the crowd’s interest picked up.


Robocop had won over the Art Brut-biased crowd, with Snake even getting the crowd to sing along. After that the rest of the set comprised of songs from their 2007 release “Blunders Mistakes” and 2006’s “They Think They’re Robobcop Kraus”. The set’s highlight though was “Automotive Man”,  a good party song in a similar style to Kaiser Chiefs with a mix dEUS who seem to be a big influence in their sound


As the lights were dimmed ready for Art Brut to take the stage, the baying crowd started chanting “ Art Brut Top of the Pops, Art Brut Top of the Pops” over and over, and this continued as Eddie Argos and fellow band members Ian Catskilkin, Freddy Feedback, Mikey Breyer and Jasper Future took their positions on stage.


I always feel it takes a brave band to open with a new song but that was no problem for Art Brut as they started the set with “Alcoholics Unanimous” from new CD “Art Brut Vs Satan”. Even though a large portion of the crowd didn’t know the new song, that didn’t stop them from having a pogo fest, which was followed by fan favourite “My Little Brother”, this making the already pogo’ing crowd go into a frenzy. Then came “ Modern Art”,  probably Art Brut’s most well known song to date.. It’s here where front man Eddie Argos comes alive with his lyrical story telling that would make you believe he was the love child of Stephen Fry and Morrisey. With a tale of his passion for art, it’s times like these when if feels like Mr Argos is not singing to you but having a nice friendly chat around a table with a pint in hand. Half way into “Modern Art” Eddie Argos decides he wants to take his story to the crowd so over the barrier he jumps and walks around with the crowd singing (well talking) about a visit to the Van Gough museum and breaking the story to sing the chorus only to continue with the story again. While walking in the crowd Eddie is not going over to the people rocking out he’s putting his arm around the ones still yet to be convinced by their unique style of indie story telling and the result of this is that by the end of the song the whole crowd are singing along (even some of the parents whose kids were lost somewere in the pit!). The only down side of this was when Mr Argos attempted to climb over the barrier to get back on stage but couldn’t get over so he mad a made dash around the crowd to get back with the rest of the band as they had already started the next song!

The rest of the set went along well with a great mix of old songs and new, at points even veering away from the set list to play requests from the fans and throwing in a little “Sex On Fire “ by Kings of Leon for good measure making it a great 45min set.

Some times Art Brut seem like run of the mill indie but with songs like “Modern Art”, “Emily Kane” (who he says he now Twitters with) and “DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake” they show signs of pure genius

The best line of the night though was a threat that if everyone in the crowd had not started their own band by the time Art Brut returned to Birmingham he would kick their backsides.. but he would formally write to all individuals to pre-warn them of their return to give them adequate time to prevent said ass kicking


Set List

Alcoholics Unanimous
My Little Brother
Bad Weekend
What a Rush
Moving to LA
Modern Art
Demons Out
Pump Up The Volume
DC Comics and Chocolate milkshake
Emily Kane
Summer Job
Positivity 5th street
Slap Dash
Bang Bang Rock N Roll
Post Soothing Out

Bad Weekend ( fan Request)

artbrt setlist

Review & Photos – Andy Watson

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