When listening to bands, especially as a journalist, it’s very easy to draw lazy comparisons. ‘Oh, they kind of sound like that third album period of early late Hendrix meets Bowie meets The Ketchup Song’. No. The only band that Darwin Deez sound like is definitely Darwin Deez.
I arrive at the industrial Sound Control during the last few breaths of support band Electric Guest’s set. I wish I’d heard more of them, and will be certainly giving them a listen. They receive a warm applause and vacate the stage.
This allows me the time to purchase a washing up liquid cola drink and find my position for Darwin Deez. The room is filled with youth, mostly falling into the infancy of the eighteen to thirty category. Everybody is cool.
Enter Darwin Deez, a fist in the air and a head bang as they walk out. Manchester is elated. If Napolean Dynamite was a band instead of a film, it would be this band.
We’re off. Their signature sound of strat-y guitar grooves and bubblegum summer pop establish that not one of us is still. I think it’s impossible not be happy whilst listening to this band. All of the hardship and burden of daily life is asked to leave the venue and waits for us outside.
After every three songs or so, the band all put down their instruments, take position at centre stage and perform a choreographed dance routine to disco music. It’s obscure, it’s silly, it’s ridiculous and it’s fantastic. The same ‘cool’ people that surround me are now bounding up and down, clapping their hands and screaming with delight. It’s sent them over the edge. Everybody scurries for their mobile phones, this has to be captured.
It would be easy to discard this as gimmick or filler. It is not. The routines are actually deceptively difficult and entirely entertaining. If art is expression, this is art.
We are graced with this cycle, three songs and then a ‘sweep’, for around an hour and I don’t know which part I look forward to more. They spit out hits handily. Radar Detector, Consellations and Bad Day choir us.
In short the night is filled with frenzy stirring pop music, punctuated by incredibly amusing dance routines. Definitely a live band I’d recommend. An experience. They make you smile, they make you dance and they leave you wanting more. There aren’t a lot of bands with the ability to do that.