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    [ Burning Airlines ]


    The Free Butt in Brighton 06.02.2001

      Burning Airlines -The Free Butt in Brighton 06.02.2001  

    “You’ve joined us at an emotional moment” exclaims a visibly worn out J Robbins, “this is the last date of our tour.” Summoning a brief strength-enduring sigh he surveys the crowd with a penetrating 1000 mile stare, “We’re Burning Airlines!” The head goes back, the hand strikes the guitar and the opening chords of Carnival slice my innards to pieces. From here on in all visible signs of fatigue are replaced by a burning intensity stemming from a will to truth which builds and explodes feeding off everything that goes into being J. Robbins. A songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve, his band Burning Airlines produce moments of pent-up aggression suddenly released which viscerally connect with me like no other. Moments of rage like on Pacific 231 where the lyrics “and we can do without the edu cay SHUN!” spit bitterly from his mouth like battery acid on scarred tissue. Moments like the second verse of The Deluxe War Baby where the howling guitars which accompany the scream of “never have I felt so well policed!” suddenly launch into a crescending scale of brutality which don’t so much make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as shave them off with a jagged razor blade. The addition of an extra guitarist has added more weight to the tumult and also allows J on songs like A Lexicon to grab the microphone stand double-handed in a manner reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen singing Born in the USA. This is far from a one man show however as much of the Airline’s impact is secured by the frenetic brush strokes of Pete Moffett, a Jim ‘the anvil’ Neidhart lookalike grinning like a cheshire cat behind his drum kit. Fears that the tracks off the new album Identikit fall pale in comparison to Mission Control! are ceremoniously quashed this evening with Outside the Aviary, Paper Crowns and Everything Here is New sounding equal in measure to the classic BA anthems: Wheaton Calling, Scissoring and Escape engine. Indeed the only glitch in the programme tonight concerned an American girl who having seemingly taken full advantage of Blighty’s lax alcohol laws had accumulated enough Dutch courage to repeatedly attempt to smitten J throughout the set with her inebriated charm. This involved whispering sweet nothings into a bemused J’s ear between songs and making some weird hand signal to her friends which I took to mean “look at me I’m so darn crazy cool what red-blooded male could possibly resist my sassy allure?” His caustic admission of “I can’t tell you how much our conversations have meant to me” said all that had to be said before finishing the set with what might be their best song yet Election-Night Special. A glorious attack on George Dubbya (“Slaughterhouse country offers up her favorite son”) Burning Airlines remain a spanner in the works of passive conformity.

    Written By: Steven H.