LIVE: White Denim – The Deaf Institute, Manchester

When they hit the road back in 2013 in support of the bombastic Corsicana Lemonade, White Denim cemented their position as one of the most scorching live acts around.

The Texans marry a pulsating brand of blues-rock with garage-born ferocity and a sprinkling of soul – a cocktail that has rarely failed to shine since their 2008 debut, Workout Holiday.

But this time around it is all change after the departures of drummer Josh Block and guitarist Austin Jenkins – both of whom left to focus on their part in the rise of soul sensation and Far Out favourite, Leon Bridges.

However, the change in personnel appears to have done nothing to tarnish White Denim’s reputation as one of the tightest rock ‘n’ roll outfits from either side of the Atlantic.

The venue is packed to the rafters to the point where even those right at the back are sandwiched against the double doors at the rear of the room. But despite the slightly constrictive conditions, a nicely varied set has everyone on side from the off.

They kick off with new single and Far Out Track of the Day ‘Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)’, which sees the band combine their more recent soul-tinged output with the kind of quick fire, glottal stop punk-rock that they initially became known for.

Then comes a career-spanning set that dips into standouts from all the way back to Workout Holiday. There’s very little crowd interaction, with the band instead doing their talking through a tidal wave of riff-heavy crescendos that seem to bring every track to a euphoric climax. Gelling with a new lineup so quickly is no mean feat.

An inevitable crowd pleaser comes in the shape of the infectious ‘At Night In Dreams’, but it’s perhaps the evening’s closer ‘Shake Shake Shake’ that fills Far Out with the most joy and guarantees a frenzied sign off. White Denim will never leave you short changed. Ever.

Patrick Davies

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