words & photos by Bao Nguyen

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

A few weeks back, I was taken back by the fact that a mother and daughter drove four hours from Philadelphia in a snowstorm to see the Kooks play in Brooklyn. Last night I was blown away by the fact that two high school-aged friends and their mother flew in from Michigan for one night to catch the first ever show by the Last Shadow Puppets (March 4, 2008). Luke Pritchard of the Kooks may have a better stage presence than the Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner but it seems Turner has many more dedicated (or crazy) fans (editor's note: "...and much more talent").

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

The Last Shadow Puppets (Alex Turner and Miles Kane of the Rascals) played to a packed room in the back of Sound Fix Records. In town for interviews, they told the crowd they decided to play a gig while they were over here. They had a simple set-up with two guitars, playing through a quick set of eight songs.

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

setlist
LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

Both Turner and Kane appear to be straying away from the more up-tempo and energetic songs of their respective bands with this project. The lyrics are a departure from the everyday, witty observations that dominate a typical Arctic Monkeys song, showing that Turner has matured lyrically from the boy who started that band at the tender age of seventeen.

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

Most fans will enjoy the album simply because Turner is in it, but I will make the risky predication that many critics of the Arctic Monkeys will be pleasantly surprised by how well-crafted these songs are.

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

LAst Shadow Puppets @ Sound Fix

The title track of their album, "The Age of the Understatement", had a very epic feel to it while other songs were reminiscent of Johnny Cash to me for some reason. Make your own judgment when the album is released April 21st. - Bao