Last night, I went to Health & Deerhunter in Whelans. Health are energetic, visually exciting and fucking loud but lacking in substance. And when I say substance, I mean tunes. Health exist in a world of feedback and distorted loops and layers upon layers of noise. Fun to watch but I know now that I never have to listen to their records, to be honest.
I had been looking forward to seeing Deerhunter, having missed their last show here. And last night’s gig was a good, if fairly shambolic, performance. The problem was that I kinda expected more from them. I expected it to be more extreme, to be louder and more full-on. I wanted the extremeness of Health but with the tunes I’d expect from Deerhunter. They mostly concentrated on new material from their forthcoming album, ‘Microcastle’ (due at Halloween time). The new songs sounded good – poppier, almost Beatlesy at moments but they didn’t always go as far as I wanted them to. They seemed to stop short of climaxes. But the older stuff really shone for me – particularly ‘Strange Lights’. It just would have been nice to have heard a bit more old stuff. It was new guitarist, Whitney’s first gig and she seemed to fit in without any problems, spitting and leap-frogging and joining in on all manners of japes.
Speaking of which, I will be playing three songs tonight from Jape’s new album, Ritual, which is less dancier than you might expect but full of cracking tunes, all the same. I’ll also be playing tracks from the new Vinny Club tribute to Rocky IV, a track from the new Notwist record and the new Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan album and my ‘Under The Radar’ album will be ‘When’ by Vincent Gallo. So that’s all on at Midnight BST tonight (Friday May 9th) on www.phantom.ie and Phantom 105.2 in Dublin.
On Wednesday night, I saw Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip again and Messiah J & The Expert who played some of their new tunes. I’m really liking The Button Factory these days. The sound is pretty good and it’s a comfortable venue, no longer feeling like a Russian warehouse . More places could learn from this. It’s an example of a well-considered renovation.
Here’s a link to Deerhunter’s photos and blog from Dublin and below you can watch that very song I mentioned – ‘Strange Lights’.