Perfect Tuscan Buildingsby Nathan Zeno / 25.05.2009
Allegra Street Theme performed the impossible at Burn this Friday night. Any band that plays at Burn is guaranteed an audience of some sort, not generally the most discerning. It therefore takes massive skills to be able to chase this audience off the dance floor. AST are so average that they’re not even bad.
I personally loved watching them, thinking “what material, what a feast I will have taking them apart piece by piece”, but the simple fact is that AST have no substance, nothing to hang a clever dismissive comment on. They make music that is so derivative that it’s hard to place any one band that they are copying, it seems it’s more of a stance. In fact if it was fifteen years ago and The Counting Crows didn’t exist then AST might have had a chance.
The little annoyances start piling up with the lead singer boasting about their huge fan base in Cape Town and constantly mentioning facebook, from whence we pulled these photos (790 fans + Nathan Zeno). The guitarist’s big nose, long black hair and skinny jeans combo is affected and considered and, as someone near me says, their shiny new guitars and hair products in general speak of lives in gated communities. The pile grows with lyrics like “if you could see beyond your nose, you’d see the sky is blue” or something like that. The ultimate problem with ADT, i mean AST, is that they are so inoffensive and musically nowhere that they will probably go on to be huge radio stars.
And then in one stupid move that clears the dance floor of everyone but girlfriends and roadies they do a cover of the Kings of Leon’s “Sex On Fire”, with no attempt at reinterpretation. It’s a straight cover and it send girls in tartan and boys in eyeliner running. Perhaps there is something in their attitude towards covering hit songs that says something about Allegra Street Themes’ ambition to stardom, but I don’t feel any need to unpack it. They play simple music, as in simpleton. And not even the most forgiving Burn regulars are that gullible.