Tonight I’m at the Hare & Hounds, in the smaller and rather more intimate Venue 2. I’m here to see the homecoming gig of Birmingham’s electro quartet Deluka. Having spent the last 3 months of the decade living and touring in the U.S., the band has gained a lot of mainstream radio air and also penned tracks for their debut album which will be released later this year. I was really looking forward to seeing the effect the rigors of touring had on the band.
Due to the 3 support bands over-running, the 10pm stage time had long since passed by, but that didn’t bother me or the packed room as we all waited for the band to come on stage. There’s a saying, something about “save the best ’til last.” A little after 11.20pm Deluka took to the stage and from the moment the intro to opening track ‘Nevada’ started it was pretty obvious that the band were up for it. The sound was clear and you could hear every word of husky-voiced singer Ellie Innocenti’s lyrics. ‘Cascade’ (a song that the band made a video to whilst in America) was to me the most obvious choice for a single release. It is a luscious tune and its layers of synths along with Kris Kovacs guitar playing make this track ideal for national radio.
“This is called ‘Finito”, Ellie tells the crowd, “but don’t worry we are far from finished!” You knew that Deluka were enjoying being in front of a home crowd; forget the freezing temperature outside, as the crowd helped Ellie out on the middle eight of the track inside the place was close to boiling point.
‘O.M.F.G’ shows the quality of Daniel and Stevie’s playing, as sections of sampled drum loops and keyboards come from a laptop next to drummer Stevie J Palmer huddled in the corner. “I can’t believe they put our Stevie in a corner – no-one puts our Steve in a corner!” Ellie tells the crowd. ‘Sleep is Impossible’ was one of the most frantic numbers in the set and has a chorus the size of a New York skyscraper. This also allowed Kris to show his guitar skills .When he and Ellie wrote the song I’m sure this was how they imagined it would sound live.
Wake Me Up’, ’Trespasser’ and ‘Capital City’ continue the set and it’s pretty obvious that no-one in the room wants this show to end. this It was one of the best crowds I’ve seen for a local band, people dancing and generally having a great time. Deluka closed with ‘Come Back To Me’ – a slightly slower song to finish what was a fantastic set. I’m sure that Deluka will carry the flag for Birmingham on both sides of the Atlantic and for me and the rest of the crowd at the Hare & Hounds tonight we will look back at this gig when Deluka have major success (which is only a matter of time) and say, “were you at the homecoming gig in 2010?”
Review and photos Ian Dunn