It’s Friday and we’re at Concorde2 to watch Deap Vally with Tiger Cub and Skaters in support.
Tiger Cub warm up the crowd nicely, seemingly going from strength to strength with every gig. The local trio smash through a fierce set of primal Nirvana-nodding grunge and the onlookers appear to appreciate the noise.
Skaters frontman Michael Cummings informs the crowd that today marks the band’s second birthday. They certainly have plenty to celebrate having released their debut EP ‘Schemers’ for free on their website, signing to Warner and playing a stormer at SXSW in March. The Anglo-American five piece combine the quintessential New York sound of The Strokes with an English slacker aesthetic similar to early Cribs.
Single ‘I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)’ is a masterclass in indie pop perfection. Cummings, wearing a green parka, croons croakily into the microphone like a mod Julian Casablancas while Joshua Hubbard (formerly of The Paddingtons) weaves an irresistibly infectious hook that could have come straight from The Vaccines’ playbook.
The crowd are at fever pitch by the time the band drop ‘Deadbolt’ which combines another bit of anthemic guitar noodling with stadium sized drums. Cummings drawls the line “Here come the cops” and the song feels like a warped update of Supergrass’ ‘Caught By The Fuzz’. A massive moshpit erupts when the chorus hits and we’re nostalgically transported back to the early noughties indie scene. Watching this show, it feels like Skaters could be on the cusp of greatness.
Deap Vally are no strangers to Brighton. Tonight they return to the city for the third time this year, but a lot has changed since their last visit during The Great Escape Festival. Their debut album ‘Sistrionix’ was released in July and they also played their biggest and most prestigious slot yet, at Glastonbury.
The duo’s experience of bigger stages is clear in their commanding presence. Tracks ‘Walk Of Shame’ and ‘Bad For My Body’ sound huge. The beauty lies in the primal simplicity and ferocious delivery. The reaction inside the venue is feverish and a fan next to us actually looks as if he’s being exorcised.
It’s a mixed crowd tonight of all ages. The band certainly appeal to a wide demographic; ‘Sistrionix’ charted at number 38 on release. Teenagers and twenty-somethings could draw the obvious comparisons with The White Stripes or Black Keys while older generations might listen and reminisce about Led Zeppelin. Singer/guitarist Lindsey Troy can really wail too and songs like ‘Make My Own Money’ come to life live.
Single ‘End Of The World’ builds slowly like The White Stripes’ ‘Hardest Button To Button’ and sounds as apocalyptic as its title. It’s the band’s call to arms and when the guitar weaves distortedly around the colossal drumbeat the crowd reacts ecstatically.
The show ends with Troy jumping into the audience and being surfed back on stage while drummer Julie Edwards launches her sticks into the throng. It’s a classically rock’n’roll finish for a band on stellar form.
Concorde2, Friday 1st November 2013
Words by Andy Baker
Photos by Ashley Laurence