Deap Valley @ The Rainbow, Birmingham – Sunday 24th February 2013

The support for this tour is a two piece called Drenge that consists of two brothers and tend to gig around the Sheffield area. From the offset, Drenge produce a large noise for a duo, with excessive use of fuzz and feedback to add to the volume. The guitar riffs are reminiscent of 90s alternative bands sped up and given a modern overhaul, whilst the vocal style has the sense of bored teenager about it; which works to a certain extent but it would be interesting to see how they could use the vocals further. Drenge keep the majority of the audience in the room and the appreciation rises as the set progresses, noticeably their new single Bloodsports; whilst other tracks draw my attention with their use of tempo changes which result in a Sabbath-esque groove about them. Drenge are definitely a band that I will be keeping an eye on in the future as musically I think they will truly develop into something great.

Deap Vally enter the stage and Lindsey Troy proclaims, “Shall we do this?” and commence with Baby I Can Hell. The duo are good looking females who are scantily clad and barefoot, which explains why the stage is surrounded by young males all lapping up the performance and willing to give away their beer to the band. Troy’s vocals have the qualities of Cherie Currie from The Runaways interspersed with the blues gruffness of Janis Joplin, and reach their full potential in Lies. Julie Edwards keeps a steady beat on the drums and adds vocals when appropriate, however these have a far sweeter characteristic about them which works well in contrast with the lead vocals. Deap Vally unleash a new song called Raw Material on the crowd and you realise how effectively the band use space within their music, not filling each beat with unrequired noise. Each track draws on the best parts of rock classics to create something new but not ground breaking; however, it does not make their music any less decent.

The band knows how to woo the crowd and they keep the energy flowing throughout the very short set, where the singles stand out as the high points. After End of the World, the band exit the stage to have photos taken with various fans whilst others are stood around wondering if that was all they were getting. I think the briefness of the set works in Deap Vally’s favour as it prevents boredom setting in. Yet I do have my reservations as to how much mileage there is in the music they are making, especially as they are clearly not as skilled musically as duos such as The White Stripes or The Black Keys who have had the ability to adapt and draw on alternative influences to keep their music interesting and relevant.

Review by Toni Woodward

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