We’ve been following Madrid popsters Deers for a few months now and with every release the anticipation seems to build for that full-length album to arrive.

It may be a bit before that time comes, but they already have a live show built on impromptu charm and an infectious stage presence that had everyone at Manchester’s Castle Hotel hooked last night.

They got fans in high places – even in their career’s relative infancy – having supported a reformed Libertines in Paris and Brussels back in September.

The surroundings at the Castle couldn’t be more different from the enormo-domes they rocked at those pair of shows, with an 80-capacity audience crammed in the venue – warming up a Manchester evening that is piercingly bitter.

It’s a set that is an uplifting delight from start to finish, switching between twee pop ditties and grizzlier garage-rock with impressive ease.

There’s triumph over adversity too. After a snapped guitar string disrupts proceedings after just two tracks, support band Spring King save the day with a miraculously quick replacement.

We would hope the male-dominated nature of the audience has as much to do with the quality of the tunes as the quartet’s undeniable sass, but one particularly smitten audience member can help himself as he yells “I love you Ade!”, to bassist Ade Martin.

The biggest cheer of the night is probably for ‘Bamboo’, the first track that Deers unveiled earlier this year, when they were just a duo consisting of Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials. It’s a 60-s inspired piece of fuzzy pop that simply never gets old, conjuring memories of The Velvet Underground and Nico at their most upbeat.

More recent release ‘Castigadas en el Granero’ is also a surefire crowd-pleaser, with the singers’ soft tones intertwining and reacting against each other, culminating in a rock ‘n’ roll freak-out that leaves the audience slightly unsure of where to place their applause. Three per tune is probably no bad thing though.

In a move that was probably born out of braveness and necessity in equal measure, Deers also demonstrate the confidence to throw brand new songs right out into the open – whether they are finished or not! You know the crowd are on board when a one-verse instrumental is met with a rapturous response.

When the set comes to an end, there’s not a person in the room who doesn’t want more, but the room empties slightly more quickly than expected when Britney Spears suddenly comes on the PA.

Slightly disorientating choices of exit music aside, the gig has been a full-on delight, taking the audience on a journey of enthralling and crafted pop that is getting more infectious with every show.

Patrick Davies

 

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