Sonic Youth on “Later with Jools Holland” reminds me of a US TV appearance by the band around 20 years ago, on a show called “Night Music” co-hosted by, in fact, Jools Holland and sax player David Sanborn. Sanborn’s solo recording career has largely (and not incorrectly) been tarred with “smooth jazz” brush; his broader musical tastes have never matched his own much less compelling output. On “Night Music”, he proved he could skronk along with Sonic Youth and even John Zorn.
I missed Sonic Youth’s London concert this week, but their performance of “Daydream Nation” in 2007 was one of the best shows of the last few years. It’s never quite the same on TV, but nonetheless S Youth were their usual magnificent selves, bashing away at a full three songs, from their upcoming “The Eternal” and reaching all the way back to “Teenage Riot”, in between the anodyne Depeche Mode and the (admittedly pretty good) Lily Allen. A couple of times the camera showed Andrew Marr and Elton John in the audience. I wonder what they thought of the loud guitars.