Unkle Tour 2007
UNKLE's 2007 tour for the album War Stories. For merchandise from the tour see War Stories Merchandise.
12 Nov - Nottingham - Rock City
13 Nov - Glasgow - ABC Glasgow
15 Nov - Manchester - University of Manchester
16 Nov - London - Roundhouse
Following these dates UNKLE toured Scotland and England again at the end of November.
Set list for 15 November Manchester show.
- Guns Blazing (Drums of Death Pt. 1)
- Hold My Hand
- Burn My Shadow
- Lonely Soul
- Price You Pay
- Keys to the Kingdom
- Morning Rage
- In a State
- Rabbit in Your Headlights
- Eye for an Eye
Review of 12 November show in Nottingham by Dave Simpson for The Guardian
James Lavelle's trajectory from Mo'Wax trip-hop kingpin to fully fledged rock animal has infuriated dance purists, but this is hardly a typical rock gig. The stage is bedecked with strobes and projections; the music is a mesmeric blend of Hawkwind, Motörhead, Killing Joke, Mozart and glam rock, out of which somehow emerges huge existential anthems like Hold My Hand, which ask big questions while rocking like a beast. However, Lavelle's switch between vocals and turntables and occasional dip into hip-hop grooves suggest his dance music heritage is not being abandoned, just filtered into something different.
The disembodied vocals of Ian Brown (Be There) and Thom Yorke (Rabbit in Your Headlights) explain sunglassed Lavelle's increasing interest in rock matters, and when he shares Richard Ashcroft's old vocal for Lonely Soul with an urgent-sounding Gavin Clark, he almost sounds as haunted as the Verve frontman. They play virtually the entirety of this year's electro-goth War Stories album, but the absence of live guest vocalists (as opposed to disk versions) is a minor blow, as is the technical problem which means that Liela Moss's recorded strutting vocal for May Day has to compete with a loudly malfunctioning strobe.
However, when Unkle hit their stride, they cause audible comments about being "blown away". Burn My Shadow (featuring a recorded Ian Astbury) sounds like Joy Division put through an industrial blender. Price You Pay is chilled and hypnotic. Gradually, Lavelle and guitar-toting rock pals segue the songs as seamlessly as any DJ set. By the time they peak with the brutal groove of Restless, there is a curious spectacle in the sea of leather jackets and rock haircuts - rave-style hands in the air. Contrary to suspicion, Lavelle has not alienated all his dance crowd: he is just teaching them to headbang.
Review of 16 Novemeber show in London by Scott Colothan for Gigwise.
Thanks to their stellar third album, ‘War Stories’, anticipating tonight’s sell out gig at the hallowed surroundings of The Roundhouse I was filled with so much excitement that I perhaps naively believed the gig could emulate those dizzying peaks back when DJ Shadow was still with the band. And from the offset things are looking good. Arriving onstage amidst an almost trademark haze of lighting before launching headstrong into the wall of sound that is album opener ‘Chemistry’, it’s an onslaught on the senses and suggests that UNKLE may indeed be a live force to be reckoned with. Not even a sound glitch in the middle of a searing ‘Hold My Hand’ knocks the ever hoodied and sunglasses bedecked James Lavelle and co. from their stride, despite being thrown into near silence for a good minute.
But shortly after a startling poignant rendition of ‘Reign’ (inevitably sans Ian Brown), some cracks start to show. Songs like the powerful ‘Burn My Shadow’ and ‘Key To The Kingdom’, which really should be dirge-tastic beasts in this cavernous room fall flat and disappoint. Devoid of audience interaction, with James Lavelle ever the miserable bastard switching between instruments and stage front, apart from the theatrics of their guitarist (very much the spit of a young Dave Grohl), dry ice (naturally) and the vaguely engaging visuals (not a patch on The Chems) there’s very little to get your teeth into. We’re even denied any guest appearances of note – okay it may be a little too much to expect Thom Yorke, Josh Homme or the Monkey Man himself to tread the boards, but surely a quick Leila Moss showing to bolster a lifeless ‘May Day’ wouldn’t go amiss?
Fortunately, they do rescue things slightly as the set reaches its finale. Their defining moment, ‘In A State’, is dispatched with heart and poignancy shortly before the encore, while ‘Rabbit In Your Headlights’ sounds as haunting and soul-wrenching as it does on record. Yet, walking out to the bitterly cold Camden streets with some punters voicing their distain and others (perhaps fortunate enough to get their hands on a bag of disco biscuits) eagerly chomping the night away, you’re left feeling that UNKLE are a mixed bag that despite their rock tinged sounds of ‘War Stories’, still don’t quite know what they are or where they are going.