Albert Hammond Jr., who used to be the guitarist for the Strokes and is the son of 70s singer-songwriter Albert Hammond (“It Never Rains in Southern California,” an odd observation for a British citizen to make), held forth at the White Stage in the late afternoon Friday. Dressed in a blazing red shirt and crisp white jeans and sporting a halo or adorable curls, Hammond couldn’t have been more excited about playing Fuji.
“We’re so happy to be here and play you our new album,” he said at least twice. The audience was happy to give him their opinion of the record, and they seemed to approve, if only because Hammond’s poptastic take on indie rock was so infectious. How could it not be, with him talking profusely about mic cables and running back forth across the stage like a munchkin. He even played some perfunctory guitar. It’s a far cry from the toxic cool of the Strokes, so obviously his heart was always in this. Who’d a’thunk he wanted to be Tom Jones all along?