Deap Vally at The Haunt, Brighton
Without wishing to blow our own – admittedly impressive – trumpets, we were banging on about Californian two-piece Deap Vally absolutely yonks ago. We interviewed them in one of those, “hey guys, you probably haven’t heard of this band but they’re frickin brilliant” kinda features. Well, since then they’ve gone pretty massive. With 16,000 followers on Facebook and a bunch of sold out gigs around the UK, it’s safe to say most of you have heard of them now.
Their latest packed-out gig was at The Haunt – just a brisk sea-breeze away from Brighton Beach – where they were ably supported by two fine acts. Starting the night in front of an all-ages crowd were leather-clad locals, Kill Moon. Their indie/noise/pop had atmospheric guitars and melodic flourishes as it blanketed the room while vocalist Izzy Bee Phillips delivered lyrics through a mop of blonde hair. The fact that they were named after an Echo and the Bunnymen song puts you in the right ball park in terms of their sound.
Next, young English brother/brother duo Drenge offered the same stage dynamic as the night’s headliners. One guitar, one drum and a WHOLE LOT OF NOISE. Imagine the love-children of The Black Keys and The White Stripes and you’d have Drenge. Between songs they are genial and polite, at all over times they want nothing more than to make your earrrrrrrrs bleeeeeeed. You’ll be seeing more of the Loveless brothers this year, you can be sure of that.
By the time Deap Vally swaggered onto stage, glugging wine from the bottle, the room was heaving, with the area in front of the stage being especially male-heavy. During their 45 minute performance, guitarist Lindsey Troy – all denim shorts and bare feet – and the magnificently-haired drummer Julie Edwards chatted to the crowd, plucking a couple of blokes onto the stage (one to show them his bum, the other for a peck on the cheek) and pausing to compliment a lady on her hat. It was that kinda vibe, intimate and fun.
And as for the music, well, again, comparisons to White Stripes are inevitable but, with Troy’s big riffs and vocal howl, Deap Valley land closer to Led Zeppelin (not that the White Stripes aren’t Zeppelin-esque, but you get what we mean). Initially, the crowd were a little too cool to dance (well, this was Brighton after all), but within a couple of songs, the mosh pit took over half the room.
Early single, Gonna Make My Own Money was a raucous highlight, while a newie or two suggested the forthcoming album will be something to which we should give our full attention. As End Of The World closed a barnstorming set, there was crowd-surfing ahoy and, when the final chord rang out, male fans reached out their hands for a handshake and a high-five with the Californians, like 13-year-old girls at a New Kids on the Block gig (that’s a contemporary reference, right kids?). Seriously, these two hot-as-hell and cool-as-cucumber chicks had reduced beardy/fringed scenesters to jelly-legged uberfans, which is quite the achievement.
Following our interview, we concluded that Deap Vally have the power to make you feel uplifted and energised. Judging by the reaction from the sold-out room, this point was more than successfully proved in a sweaty little venue in Brighton on Thursday night.