At Candyskins’ first L.A. gig in some five years, the Oxford, England-based group performed solid versions of songs from its glorious “Death of a Minor TV Celebrity” (Velvel), an inspired album that’s further proof that struggle and friction are often key ingredients in a good rock band.
The band has been playing its brand of infectious guitar pop since 1989. Armed with a Geffen Records deal in the early ’90s, the group once appeared as likely as Radiohead or Blur to break out of the Brit-pop pack.
However, the quintet and their U.S. label never did see eye to eye (two members were once arrested for vandalizing a Geffen office building in London), leading to contentious business decisions and causing the band’s stock to plummet on both sides of the Atlantic.
The resilient Candyskins are back, with new record deals at home and Stateside, though the Dragonfly was about half-full for their perf.
Songs performed from the album included a killer take of current single “Feed It,” a song of mental obsession (inspired by the Heaven’s Gate cult suicides) that’s featured in the hit film “The Waterboy.”
Rhythm guitarist Mark Cope could barely contain the big grin on his face during that tune’s mini-jam ending, caught up as he was in the unbeatable groove that he and his bandmates (including newly hired bassist Brett Gordon) had dropped into.
Elsewhere, many of the usual Beatles references were in full effect in frontman Nick Cope’s songwriting, giving working-class songs like “Somewhere Under London” and the album’s title track a winning sense of familiarity, although, as is the case with Oasis and similar outfits, originality wasn’t always the end result.