Deap Vally, Dingwalls, 27 Feb
When it comes to gig going, English etiquette is a funny thing to behold. Naturally, and most evidently in the capital, there remains that breed of pensive still-wearing-my-coat-and-scarf aloof types and, of course, the ardent head banger holding up the security rail front of stage. Yet, for some artists, it seems their brand of indie dance floor elite can rouse the merriest of mob mentalities. Take Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ with its sharp and unyielding lead refrain or The Fratellis pint’n’punch up sing along, ‘Chelsea Dagger’, for example; it’s something about that first strike of the note that rings out over a sea of people mimicking the same sounds from their beer swilling chops.
There’s some of that temperament here tonight and yet, in and amongst the rabble’s heckles and sloshing ales, this band know how to own a stage. In a wash of lace, tassels and curls, Deap Vally emit a noise so burly and robust it’s hardly surprising they’ve rustled up a few brutes in the crowd. ‘Make My Own Money’ pushes the crowd shanty into full swing as Dingwalls sways and quakes in the weight of such blues prowess whilst latest single ‘Lies’ is met with a similar torrid of applause and choral accompaniment.
Tonight’s audience are privy to a few new tracks from the LA duo as the band toy with tempos in the angular stutters of ‘Raw Materials’ not unlike the hectic percussions of Marnie Stern’s This Is It… The pair confess to some highbrow morals in protection-pro ‘Creep Vines’ placed charmingly aside, similarly fresh, ‘Walk of Shame’. But it’s the drumming ferocity and grace [an oxymoron that remains intangible without seeing her live] displayed by Julie Edwards that takes TGA’s leading lady award. Displaying the skin savvy that we all yearned for from Meg White, Edwards has the Bonham flair and Moon’s clattering fills.
The gig itself is the final of the live dates alongside self-confessed ‘fraternal goofballs’, Drenge and also, serves as an exercise in innovative audience participation; the duo’s next release will see entrants from gig goers various filming devices making it into the final cut of their new video. The only downside to this novel idea being that the rest of us are left to watch much of the rest of the set thru a lens [I imagine this is what Robbie Williams meant, right?]
Whilst it’s nice to be able to see the full guise of both ladies [something you simply wouldn’t have been able to appreciate without the help of that spectacularly angled iPhone] it does make you wonder about the future of the rock concert…Will it soon just be a sea of screens and flashes; will we even really need to be there at all? An ironic concept though, considering the bands fundamental sound and ethos seem based around nostalgic 70s riffs and glitter adulation… [and this, by no means, is a bad thing!]
One for Charlie Brooker at least…