sun 26/05/2024

Deap Vally, Concorde 2, Brighton | reviews, news & interviews

Deap Vally, Concorde 2, Brighton

Deap Vally, Concorde 2, Brighton

Californian duo prove to be a revelation

Deap Vally, a blaze of outrageous riffage

It’s a condition of certain music journalists – myself very much included – that we can be blindsided by originality to the detriment of much else. Thus I might rate a chunk of electronic weirdness that blows my mind on the first couple of listens over a more derivative piece of song-writing. Later on I sometimes find that the sonic weirdness wears thin, sucked dry of its original sparkle, while the more derivative music slowly reveals itself as something rather brilliant.

I admit, then, that when I first caught up with Deap Vally, a female L.A. two-piece, one on electric guitar, the other on drums, my mind immediately slotted them in alongside The White Stripes and The Black Keys, ostensibly similar two-piece blues-rock outfits. Good stuff, I thought, and so be it. I even saw them twice, in passing and at a distance, during this summer’s festival season. Yes, I thought, an enjoyable Led Zep gumbo with the added advantage of two feisty, sexy front-women. I was very wrong. Deap Vally are the real deal, one of the most fantastic bands on the tour circuit, in support of a debut album, Sistrionix, that brooks no argument.

The duo run on to a baying Brighton crowd that, interestingly, includes everyone from teenagers, for whom they’re the hot new thing, to couples in their fifties, who presumably dig the band’s debt to late-Sixties/early-Seventies rock. Side by side, with Lindsey Troy, her guitar and effects pedals stage-right, and Julie Edwards’ drum kit stage-left, Deap Vally open with “Raw Material”, a raucous barrage of dirty, sweaty primal rock, Troy milks her guitar of wonderfully distorted riffs, the match for Deep Purple and the like, and the calibre of these songs becomes startlingly clear. When they kick into the anthemic “Bad for My Body” the crowd explodes into moshing (and the couples in their fifties promptly move backwards from the stage). We all roar along with its chorus: “If our mothers only knew/The trouble that we get into.” It’s a song that has an atypical punk-pop energy where the pair are usually more at home blasting out squawling, seismic amped blues such as the stop-start assault of  “Gonna Make My Own Money” or sheer gutsy dirt of “Baby I Call Hell”.

What’s particularly ace is the way Troy fires out don’t mess-with-this-girl lyrics on songs such as “Lies” and “Woman of Intention” and the female half of the crowd respond accordingly. Meanwhile the guys simply shake down to the brutal force of her guitar. The band look great too - raw, sensuous femininity but with an attitude that doesn’t kowtow to male fantasy “glamour” stereotypes, both in shoulder pads, Troy in sheer tights and frayed denim hot-pants, and Edwards perspiring in a leopard-print bra top, throwing her mane repeatedly over her drums. At one point Troy suddenly puts down her guitar and hurls herself off stage for a bit of crowd-surfing.

For their first encore they play their two best-known tunes, their new single, the witty, morning-after-a-one-night-stand rocker, “Walk of Shame”, and the scorching proto-metal “End of the World”, but the crowd won’t let them go so they reappear with a battering take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins' “I Put A Spell on You”.  Troy said earlier that her dad was in the crowd. If he was he must be bloody proud. Deap Vally will go the distance. These girls are stars.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Walk of Shame"

The band look great too - raw, sensuous femininity but with an attitude that doesn’t kowtow to male fantasy stereotypes


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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You should have trusted your initial reaction Thomas. DV are some of the most generic "quick! let's sign a band that sounds like the Stripes, what? they're both ladeez? FANTASTIC!" thinking of any major label a&r team, that I've heard in a long time. Dire, the album will litter bargain bins in the next couple of years.

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