6th March 2013
The Deaf Institute
Deap Vally: 8/10
The music-hall of The Deaf Institute was set for a night of contrast with the performance of two bands at different points in their musical journey: newcomers Drenge and bill-toppers Deap Vally.
The modern day vestiges of rock ‘n’ roll music that is Deap Vally may as well be poster-girls for Californian fine living, with their sun kissed tans glowing with the sort of charisma that only Americans can seem to produce. Billed alongside were the pasty skinned, introvertly shy sluggers of heavy punk, Drenge. Despite the unusual pairing, together they promise to re-write the rulebook on two-piece rock ‘n’ roll bands.
Drenge duo Eoin and Rory Loveless lack the stage presence of their American counterparts, but that dearth of vigour is compensated for by a cultured rock ‘n’ roll display worthy of a band twice their age. The two brothers unleashed a whirlwind of ripping guitars and ribcage rattling drum rolls during a frenzy of amp feedback. They flew through a set that comprised tracks from their debut album Bloodsports, with the iconic track ‘Dogmeat’ inviting the audience to experience the lead singers trademark snared vocals. Upon exiting the stage, there was no question that these particular angry young men are surely destined for bigger stages than this.
The same attitude was not spared when the Deap Vally girls Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards swaggered on stage. Their carefree demeanour reminds us that girl-bands can be angry too, a niche largely unexplored by the majority of female artists around today. Don’t be fooled by their Californian summer apparel – glitzy tassel crop-tops, cut-off denim shorts and bouffant hairstyles – they are strictly badass. A neglected crowd under Drenge’s stewardship was soothed by Lindsey’s attentive appreciation, taking her own commemorative photograph and sparing some time to banter the audience before delivering ‘Lies’.
Over the course of ‘I Can Hell’ and ‘Drought’, Lindsey got to grips with the unbridled rawness of her vocals, developing an almost southern drawl that was hauntingly reminiscent of Dolly Parton. Throughout, Lindsey was in masterful control of her guitar and teased out blues riffs which, coupled with the unbridled primal display of Julie’s drumming, gave the proceedings a distinctively southern-rock vibe. Continuing their sultry performance, the ladies dedicated ‘Walk of Shame’ and ‘Creeplife’ for the girls in attendance, a comment that earned a jeer of understanding. Closing out the evening was the appropriately-titled ‘End of World’; rounding off an evening that saw two of the most promising new punk bands on the circuit prove that the hype seems justified.