Golden Lady checks out the White Denim gig in London:
Hailing from the eponymous music capital, Austin, Texas, this now four-piece, blues-tinged, psych-rock band proceed to take the stage for what will surely be one of the more electrifying and musically expansive gigs one could hope to see this year.
Unlike some other recent overhyped and fussed over retro bands of late, White Denim have somehow managed to escape the overblown smoke machines, which has clearly worked in their favour. The crowd in the packed out HMV Forum appear to be solely there for the music, and you can tell. With sweaty palms and empty beer cups already floating about the room in anticipation, the band appear on the stage and break out into a full blown jam from their most recent album D, which will set the tone for the rest of the evening.
With definite moments of 1960’s guitar heroism, aka Hendrix, Cream, maybe even Jeff Beck, this feels like a modern day version with added streams of prog rock and straight up dirty blues. It’s difficult to escape the obvious comparisons to The Black Keys, however these guys are far less basic. Their clear disregard for simplicity and, dare I say it, radio friendly songs, make them a much more interesting and fascinating band to watch within the live arena.
Regularly deviating from the recorded versions of their songs, they delve into deep and intense instrumental cacophonies, which you can’t help but become completely transfixed by. And quite honestly, it's a fucking breath of fresh air to watch musicians who are clearly indebted to their musical heritage and form. Man, can they play!
It never tends to get over indulgent nor do they disregard the audience at any point. Tracks Is and Is and Is and Shake, Shake, Shake get an especially great response, whilst other songs, like the country-tinged Keys, display what various shades and tints this band are capable of wearing.
My only criticism at all is that I found myself wishing that the production side of things were even remotely as electrifying as the band itself. Without any significant lighting or stage set up, nor communication from the band, I cant help but feel this is what might set this apart from any other exhilarating rock show filling out venues of this size right now.
That aside, White Denim are a wonderful band and this was a truly unforgettable gig.
Review by Golden Lady. Check out her own blog here.