Read about Ikara Colt & The Black Keys at SXSW

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By Dan Q. Marek
March 26, 2003

213 W. 5th Street, Austin
Friday, March 14

Stretching off of 6th street a couple blocks, the Black Keys brought their unique blues-rock anthems to Antone's after playing another show earlier that day. Starting off with their album-titled "Thickfreakness" the guitar & drums duo's pretentious deep blues sound topped by singer Dan Auerbach's sing-in-a-can raspy voice proved instantaneously that with two members attaining a full sound is no longer out of reach. By the time they reached "Hard Row" the club had filled to near capacity and the early-Cream style sound began to resonate through hip-shaking twentysomethings gathered to hear the heavier acts later in the night. Playing songs like "Yearning" off their debut album, raised the eyebrows of earlier fans, but with explosive four-on-the-floor drumming by Patrick Carnie that sometimes teetered on the edge of hip-hop, songs like "Set You Free" and the gritty "Midnight" won the night over. A special guest appearance by Patrick's uncle Ralph Carnie, who had played saxophone with the likes of Tom Waits, made the evening a unique show for devoted fans. Chiming in on "Have Love Will Travel" and matching Auerbach's guitar solos note for note, 'Uncle Ralph' proved he's till on top of his game.

After a quick teardown, the London sounds of Ikara Colt consumed the stage with volatile punk rock and in-your-face attitudes. Though lead singer Paul Resende's performance on "Escalat" mirrored early Iggy Stooge stage antics, their unique balance kept songs like "One Note" and "After This" interesting and separate from early UK punk rockers. Screaming out between songs in a thick brogue accent, Resende regularly stumbled over female crunch vixen Claire Ingram's chords while flamboyantly working the crowd to a furious frenzy. Slowing down a bit to give mega man drummer Dominic Young a breather, they broke into "City of Glass," which Resende says is a ballad, but with fist-in-the-air guitar lines, the song seemed more like an average rock song than their normal fare. Ingram's L7-like backing vocals gleamed through on the infectious "Rudd" while Resende shot off into the crowd tethered by a mic chord while the band leisurely continued on. Ending off with a new track yet unnamed (tentatively titled "B+M"), the band switched into a more traditional Sex Pistols guise while the rhythm section kept furious timing until (sgr name) through the microphone to the floor with a loud thump and b-lined toward the door to end the set.