June 9, 2006
Review by Jake Thomas
The Constantines never fail to amaze me. I love that they always play a small club like Café du Nord, even though I presume they could at least fill the Bottom of the Hill. In some ways it’s a shame they don’t, as they write great, catchy songs that would be very accessible to most of the music-buying public, but SubPop doesn’t seem to put any push behind them at all. It’s a shame for the band’s bottom line, but a treat for us fans who know what is up.
I can’t really say that this was any better or worse than any of their other outings here, but it was real goddamn entertaining. The band was as tight as ever, especially that bassist and drummer – I’ve said it before, but that combo is as good a rhythm section as I’ve ever seen, up there with the Fugazi combo of Lally and Canty. And there is a certain Fugazi-ness to the Constantines musically, but the Bryan Webb’s vocals are so different from Ian MacKaye or Guy Piciotto that the comparison doesn’t hold a ton of water. It’s more of an angsty, immediate heartland-rock than post-rock, like a young band of Bruce Springsteens raised on punk rock, but with no Clarence Clemmons sax solos to be seen on the horizon (I’m crossing my fingers this happens soon though). Anyways, great fuckin’ set all around, topped off with a Spencer Davis Group cover whose name escapes me as the finale. I’m not even going to get into the crazy group of yellers stationed around me who were louder than the band most of the night, because the Constantines are so damn awesome they transcend all that crap, and just leave you with a warm, toasty feeling and maybe even make you not want to hate Canadians anymore.