Formed a little over 10 years ago, Ohio's The Black Keys have finally managed to put their hometown of Akron back on the rock music map for the first time since the days of other residents Chrissie Hynde, Devo and, er, The Waitresses represented (around 30 years, to be imprecise). And what a way to do it - apparently (according to The BK's Wikipedia entry), a recent Madison Square Gardens show in New York sold out in 15 minutes - that's a lot of lawn and a lot of tickets.
Here in the UK, we've always been one step ahead of the Americans in our adulation of the alternative-rock partnership of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. After two false starts with the debut 'The Big Come Up' and the sophomore 'Thickfreakness', The Black Keys turned in a winning trick with album three in 2004. 'Rubber Factory', christened after the Goodrich Corporation Akron landmark (and the band's makeshift recording studio), earned them a Top 75 placing and a deal with arty major imprint, Nonesuch, a label more often associated with the likes of Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Dr John and, oh OK, Wilco - maybe not such a weird choice after all.
After increasing their fan-base with every release, The Black Keys really did the business with last year's rather moreish 'El Camino', a Top 10 album in six territories as far apart as New Zealand, Belgium, the US and, naturally, over here. And it's this ever-expanding audience that is guaranteed to help sell out the band's next wave of concerts in the UK.
With The Maccabees installed as support, The Black Keys will perform a handful of shows in December, starting with Newcastle on the 7th and followed by Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and finally the O2 Arena in London on the 12th. We will have tickets to all shows from 9am on Friday 31st August with prices starting at £27.50 for all dates. Don't underestimate the arena-sized venues - they are still likely to sell out, especially with the threat of new material looming on the horizon!