During these cold hard nights often we are left searching for something uplifting, happy and full of summer cheer to blow away the dusting of snow on our brains. But what I found at Dingwalls on this February evening melted my eyes, pounded my chest and blew my brain away. Two two-pieces; Drenge and Deap Vally took to the stage with such vigour and soul that they left the audience debating the purpose of a bass player.
Drenge were the first to stake their claim for the two-piece title. Now, I knew what to expect from these menacing brothers, but a lot of the crowd were in the dark as to how this band with their unassuming lead man; Eoin Loveless, dressed in his little red riding hoodie would fill this famous stage. It didn’t take long, however, for the naysayers and doubters to be chewing on their own feet as Drenge quickly reaffirmed they are not a band to be fucked with.
Heavy, punchy fuzz guitar supported by booming drums then proceeded to fill the grotty venue which, provided with the backdrop of its history should be enough to inspire Drenge to move quickly to establish themselves, as they say ‘the next big thing’. The new single, Bloodsports, is as scything and deranged as anything you’ll hear this year. With Rory’s steady drums as the easel and canvas for the artistry of his brother’s distorted axe; Drenge are showing they’ve all the quality of The White Stripes with a little more British grit.
Deap Vally, the girls from San Fernando, were next up. Ashamedly, I hadn’t heard Deap Vally’s records before this show and, from their description, I had a certain image of the night ahead. A night of Beverly Hills style, mellow guitars and a trip to the Californian beach accompanied by two striking girls.
However, it was my turn to pick the toenails from my teeth because as Deap Vally entered with a snarl and a slurp from their wine, Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards destroyed my preconceptions as they blasted me and the rest of the audience away. Troy is a screaming banshee at points with tracks such as Lies and Gonna Make My Own Money sounding like a rallying battle cry over heavy bluesy riffs. Fitting, as Edwards on drums has an air of Bodecia and Tommy Lee’s love child and hits as hard and as tight as a power tool.
The sound of Deap Vally is steeped in Americana with hints at glam rock and Queens of the Stone Age all delivered with a fire in their hearts. That said, it is the ferocity and relentless live act that really shines through about Deap Vally. The duo demands attention and deserves it with such a pounding, raucous and fearless display of dominance on stage.
Both Drenge and Deap Vally have managed to combine weighty guitars and jackhammer rhythm with clever soulful lyrics all whilst remaining effortlessly cool. They are simple but effective and both well worth a look.