Category Archives: Gigs

Deers – Live at Broadcast, Glasgow 26th Nov 2014

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This review was originally published on new music site Overblown – http://www.overblown.co.uk/deers-broadcast-glasgow-26112014/

Happiness is infectious. After a long wait Deers bounce onto stage in front of a packed Broadcast to play the final show of a short run of UK dates. The size of the audience and their palatable excitement must be somewhat bewildering for a band who have only released two singles. That’s hype for you and Deers are determined to live up to it.

Immediately I am struck by the size of personalities on stage. These four girls from Madrid radiate charisma and charm. They have an almost shy confidence that never borders on arrogance. Before any music starts they’re hugging each other and fist bumping. It’s like watching a close-knit gang wanting to do well for each other. Tellingly, they seem to be just as excited to see the audience as the audience is to see them. So far, so good but charm and charisma will only ever get a band so far and needs to be backed up with songs.

Deers certainly have the songs, perhaps not in quantity, but certainly in quality. ‘Warning With the Curling’ kicks us off, building in tempo while Ana and Carlotta dance and sway. There’s a lot of posturing, even the occasional synchronised move. The music itself is upbeat and completely absorbing. It’s indie pop in the most joyfully ramshackle of ways and not dancing seems impossible while they sing, whisper, shriek, whoop and yell.

Sure, there’s definitely the odd duff note but nobody cares, least of all the band. Deers are the perfect example of songwriting quality over technical ability and the former wins every time. It’s proof that good songs played in the right spirit makes for a thrilling show. They play a song that’s so new it doesn’t have a title and it’s great. Then they play part of a song  that they’ve not even finished writing yet and it’s incredible.

The audience probably only know half the set at best but every song receives a warm reception, they never drop in quality. We get treated to ‘Bamboo’, ‘Trippy Gum’, ‘Between Cans’ and the recent single ‘Castigadas en el Granero’ which sparkles live. The dual vocals work perfectly together. Ade on bass bops around and adds her voice to the mix while drummer Amber switches from smiling to singing along to laughing hysterically whenever she catches they eye of a bandmate. The set finishes with a raucous ‘Davey Crocket’ and the audience is pogoing much to the delight of the band, “that’s never happened before ever on the whole tour!” squeals Carlotta.

A great gig has the capacity to produce endless different reactions (dancing, crying, elation, aggression etc.) but my favourite gigs leave everyone smiling and after tonight they’ll still be smiling tomorrow morning. Deers friendly nature, high spirits and ultimately great songs permeate the whole venue, beguiling everyone present. Catch them live as soon as possible, you’ll want to see them again and again.

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Menace Beach – Stereo, Glasgow 22nd November 2014

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This review was originally published on new music website Overblown – http://www.overblown.co.uk/menace-beach-stereo-glasgow-22112014/

It’s Saturday night and definitely a night for volume in the basement of Stereo. It’s a great venue for a rock gig with its high stage, dim lights and industrial feel. It makes for a packed sweat-box for loud, fast music of which there’ll be plenty tonight. There’s a sign on the wall warning that human pyramids and walls-of-death are dangerous. Well, I’m here to see Menace beach in a support slot to their home town pals Pulled Apart by Horses so I feel quite safe.

For a support slot there’s a really encouraging crowd gathered at the front to watch Menace Beach. I’d imagine the headliners have done a decent job in telling their fans to check the support out, their guitarist is even wandering about with a Menace Beach t-shirt on.

A couple of months ahead of their debut album release and Menace Beach are in good form. They launch into Teenage Jesus and immediately there’s plenty heads nodding approvingly. It’s loud, satisfyingly so, with the guitars particularly dominant. Thankfully Liza’s keyboards aren’t drowned out but her vocals occasionally are. She’s the least animated member of the band throughout the set, casually switching from guitar to keyboards and singing, always looking effortlessly cool.

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Ryan, on the other hand, is a bit more of a whirlwind. There’s lots of arm movements, facial expressions and hopping around. He looks and sounds like the 90’s indie rock kid. In fact, if i didn’t know better I’d be convinced I’m watching Travis, the goofy skate kid from Clueless, fronting his own band. Lookalikes aside, there’s plenty of enthusiasm on stage and it’s infectious. “I feel so much better now, it’s been such a stressful day, it’s great to be playing some songs” Ryan tells us. Well, we’re feeling good too.

They run through previously released songs Honolulu, Tennis Court and the slightly slower Dream Out, then on to Come on Give Up from the new album. There are other new songs in between whose titles I don’t know but the signs for the new record are very positive. They’re lively, loud and absolutely packed with hooks.

Fortune Teller is the song that brought Menace Beach to my attention in the first place. The floating, looping keyboard Liza plays is the highlight of the gig for me. The song itself sounds much heavier in this environment, simply down to the volume of the guitars and the bands happiness to play hard. It’s a fantastic song.

They rip through the punky Lowtalkin’ at breakneck speed. Liza screams the song title over and over again (how do you not lose you’re breath?) while Ryan sings and they sound great together. Female / Male vocals in sync gets me pretty much every time. The set is over after about 20 minutes. It’s short but very sweet, leaving me eager for plenty more of their own shows in 2015. Time to retire to the bar at the back, ears ringing but happy nonetheless. Don’t want to get caught up in one of those walls of death when the headliners take the stage.

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