The Virgins @ Cabaret Voltaire 17-04-09

April 28, 2009

Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, April 17 * * * *

New Yorkers The Virgins have the kind of back-story that PRs and certain music journalists love. Fronted by creative driving force and founding member Donald Cumming, a one-time male model who at the age of 16 was already well established on Manhattan’s cooler than cool club scene, the band was barely a band when Atlantic Records came knocking. Soon after, and with the US press on the lookout for a neat media-friendly label, The Virgins found themselves daubed the ‘new Strokes’.
Whether such an accolade will help or hinder the band remains to be seen, tonight they certainly didn’t have any problems making their first Scottish headlining appearance a success with what was an easy-on-the-ear set of funk-infused garage rock.
Undoubtedly there were shades of The Strokes on Radio Christiane but beyond that other influences took over – The Stones on the rockier One Week Of Danger and Blondie on Hey Hey Girls being the most notable.
Carrying the band through the less engaging tracks was Cumming’s natural delivery and the understated cool of his presence. Effortless yet passionate his distinctive vocal and seemingly heartfelt utterances bore out his contention that “we’re all friends here”, even if it was for only 45 minutes.


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