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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 08:26 GMT
Sound of 2007: Klaxons
Leading the "new rave" scene, London-based band the Klaxons have come third in the BBC News website's Sound of 2007 new music poll.

We are revealing one artist from the top five every day until Friday, when the winner and full top 10 will be announced.


Klaxons (left-right): James Righton, Simon Taylor, Jamie Reynolds

It is 6:30pm on a Saturday evening and in a club below London Bridge station, several hundred teenagers are letting out an ecstatic, ear-splitting cheer.

The air is suddenly filled with fluorescent glowsticks, the original rave accessory, turning the crowd into a mass of waving coloured tentacles that would not look out of place in the Great Barrier Reef.

Then there are the whistles, fluorescent face paint, sparklers and day-glo clothes.

The Klaxons look slightly astonished at the reaction. The "new rave" scene they have championed - which has been viewed with scepticism by many - does seem to be thriving.

The band coined the "new rave" term after they formed just over a year ago and, sensing a new scene in the air, the NME has grabbed the bandwagon's reins.

"I think it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy," says singer and bassist Jamie Reynolds.

Klaxons
We came together with the intention of making a successful pop band
Simon Taylor (centre)
"It's now a global media phenomenon. You read something in a foreign language and you don't understand a single word of it, and then the two words pop up next to each other. Unbelievable."

A couple of days before their under-18s matinee show at the SE One club, the band insist the genre they created is a bona fide movement.

But they also seem wary at the speed and enthusiasm with which fans and journalists have picked up on their invention.

The band began their careers by covering two rave classics - The Bouncer by Kicks Like A Mule, including the mantra "your name's not down, you're not coming in", and Not Over Yet by Grace. Both are still live favourites.

"Everything's got rehashed over the last five years," Reynolds says. "And for us, it seemed like the early '90s was the only thing that hadn't yet been rehashed.

Celebration doesn't come with po-faced music, celebration comes with popular anthems
Jamie Reynolds
"And as soon as we did that - rehashing the only thing there was left - it put a stop to that and we wanted to make a fresh start.

"Now we're left with the fact that we have to create something completely new and fresh."

They have borrowed the pulsating tempo, pounding rhythms and hypnotic vocals from old rave - and say music should be a "celebration".

But they are a guitar band first and foremost, not synthesiser boffins, and their music also borrows bits from punk and early 1980s electro-pop.

And despite the hype, the Klaxons' tunes do stand up - especially the infectious singles Golden Skans and Gravity's Rainbow.

Klaxons
The band have gained an enthusiastic live following
"We came together with the intention of making a successful pop band," declares guitarist Simon Taylor.

It is a startling statement for a guitar band whose image and sound are far from the modern pop stereotype, and who would normally be expected to treat pop as a four-letter word.

But the Klaxons want the mainstream to come to them, instead of being forced to fit into the existing mould.

"We had no interest in being po-faced or cool, we wanted to be popular," says Reynolds.

"Celebration doesn't come with po-faced music, celebration comes with popular anthems, popular sing-along records."

'Real personalities'

James Righton - who contributes vocals, guitars and keyboards - adds: "It would be great to see next year that pop does get its revival.

"It would be incredible if there was a real improvement in the state of music, and if songs became more pop and better - written and performed by people who actually were real pop stars.

"The music industry in general lacks real personalities who write good songs."

Get the glowstick ready, the Klaxons are ready to win over the sceptics.

  • More than 130 impartial UK-based music writers, editors and broadcasters took part in to the Sound of 2007 poll by naming their three favourite new acts.

    These tips were weighted to take account of each pundit's stature, genre and record in previous polls, as well as the order in which they ranked their tips, with the results compiled into a top 10.


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