Do the Welsh see something in Razorlight that the rest of us are missing? Perhaps it's simply that as soon as Johnny Borrell and the gang cross the Severn bridge a mystical force takes hold of them. Whatever the answer Noise and Confusion witnessed one of the strangest revelations in rock as the moshing crown was won not by the Foos as most people would expect, but instead by a group who embody about as much rock as Dave Grohl has in his little finger. No disrespect to Razorlight, they are brilliant at what they do, but in terms of musical genres it's safe to say that a rowdy crowd is more associated with the Foos. Imagine the shocked expressions then when Razorlight's set turned into a free for all. Their fans may call themselves 'The Light Brigade', but come on, at least the original version shouted "charge" before they attacked. Instead the crowd on Saturday were faced with a two pronged attack. Razorlight cheekily lulled us into a false sense of security with their cosy living room stage set up that was only missing a pair of slippers by the fire and then, just when you were getting into the group and seeing first hand why a fuss was made about them after their Live 8 performance, 'The Light Brigade' silently made their move. Stick thin girls miraculously transformed into the Incredible Hulk, throwing aside anyone who stood between them and a bare chested Borrell. Being bombarded from every angle you suddenly gain a new perspective on what it is like to be amongst the most hardcore moshers. 'The Light Brigade' could certainly give the most extreme death metal fans a run for their money. Needless to say, 'Golden Touch' will never be listened to in the same light. How can it be after you have sung along to it with 63,000 other fans whilst fearing for your life as your feet are lifted off the floor and you are transported by what can only be described as a Charlotte 'Subway' wannabe?
Coming on stage in a thick, long overcoat, Borrell ignited the crowd with a ferocious rendition of 'Rip It Up', and the crowd duly obliged before going wild for the anthemic 'Vice'. 'Stumble and Fall' was never as appropriate as it was on this evening after most of the crowd had done literally what the song says, but the whole set was overshadowed by 'Somewhere Else'. Reportedly written by Borrell to prevent the record company from releasing a previous single as seems to have been the trend this year (Kaiser Chiefs and The Killers amongst many others), 'Somewhere Else' is a song that demands crowd participation. Razorlight on Saturday delivered it to perfection, allowing just enough audience involvement but not relying on the crowd to carry the entire thing. It may have been better if this had been the final song, going out on a high but instead 'In The City' dragged on for too long as one solo interaction with the backing singers turned into two, then more. By the time the song was over, Razorlight had lost the spark they had generated and an otherwise amazing set was slightly tarnished. But only ever so slightly as the band had defiantly lifted their game to another level and earned their place as next years festival headliners.
By the final song Borrell had lost the overcoat, the shirt had been discarded and even the trousers were in danger of verging on the obscene as he seemed to undergo a metamorphosis into Iggy Pop, circa 'Lust for Life'. But this look never seemed to do Iggy any harm and it certainly wasn't a hindrance to Razorlight. Just a request though, could 'The Light Brigade' do us all a favour and shout "charge" in the future as the ego is severely dented when you are battered and bruised by someone half your size who looks like they haven't had a decent meal since 1999. It's bizarre the effect Borrell has on some people.