Posts Tagged ‘White Denim’
Despite looking like Beirut (without the prospect of a decent suntan), Camden’s Electric Ballroom could teach other UK venues a thing or two. Decent door policy, (reasonably) well-staffed and numerous bars, and a dedicated smoking area for those amongst us that are still social lepers. However, such polish does not extend to decent sound for Royal Bangs who spend the vast majority of their set sounding like they’re playing through a sponge. A wet sponge at that. In a well. From a fair distance away.
White Denim, however, are an entirely different prospect altogether. The stage positively fizzes with pent-up kineticism, the infectious interplay between the four of them coming across as a stage-based human Hadron Collider; and such is impact of the almost two-hour set that it’s almost impossible not to speak solely in journalistic cliché.
Steve Terebecki’s bass throbs like an angry bite; a continued itch that never fails to be scratched at precisely the right moment – the needling bassline of ‘I Start to Run’ tunnelling deep into your subconscious until you can almost solely think in root notes. James Petralli looks like all his Christmases have come at once, and that every present contained a winning lottery ticket. The opening segue of fourth album ‘D’’s ‘It’s Him’, ‘Burnished’ and ‘At the Farm’ (with ‘Fits’ standout ‘Say What You Want’ thrown in for good measure) sets the bar exceedingly high, but never at the threat of not living up to the early promise.
Occasionally criticised for a lack of audience interaction, it’s actually quite refreshing not to have to listen to some arduous guff about a track’s origins; instead playing what turns into an almost incessant flow of music, like a convoluted stream of consciousness – without the prospect of becoming smothering. Recently added second guitarist Austin Jenkins seems utterly content to be Chuck Berrying all over the stage, and any fears that the garage rock dynamic would have suffered are swiftly allayed. Adding more texture to a sound that was already elaborate for a three piece, the effect is nothing short of spectacular. And exhausting.
Debut EP track ‘Goldie Locks’ exhibits that the boundless enthusiasm has stood since the very beginning. The admittedly flaccid (on record, at least) ‘Bess St.’ takes on a whole new meaning live – the skittering jam halfway through making perfect sense, and the atomically underrated Josh Block underpins the entire night with a phenomenally fluid performance, especially during a rare outing for ‘Last Day of Summer’ highlight ‘Tony Fatti’.
Upon first glance, you may think that computer club kicked out early, so four mates decided to have a jam. However, they play with such consummate ease and undulating pace that it begs the question as to why this is their biggest headline show to date after four (extremely decent) albums. Still, the fug of muso complacency lingers over the entire set, and it occurs that maybe some of the best kept musical secrets are the most satisfying.