The SoundcarriersEdit this event
There's a buzz around White Denim this evening, similar to the one generated by The Black Lips two months ago. Gone are the hardened gig-goers and Damn You! acolytes who filled the venue on their first venture to the city almost a year ago to the day. Instead, they're replaced by a more Jo Whiley-friendly crowd seemingly intent on catching a band at least three people described to me as "the new Kings Of Leon". God knows what they've been listening to then, but its certainly nothing DiS has experienced off either of the Austin trio's two long players.
Before their arrival, local four-piece The Soundcarriers make an organic, if slightly tranquil sound that sits somewhere between late Sixties folk pop and the less irritating remnants of the Manchester-orientated baggy era. The boy-girl harmonies on 'Caught By The Sea' are distinctly similar to the Shields/Butcher combination on 'Strawberry Wine', and while their Mock Turtles-esque pop is pleasant enough, the longer the set goes on the less urgent it becomes, which is a shame as they undoubtedly possess a lot of ability as musicians. Unfortunately, the songs themselves for the most part resemble lift music, even if it's of a Harrods rather than Asda variety.
With the room now packed to bursting point, it's little surprise that White Denim seem fairly nervous at the beginning of their set. Barely a word is uttered from band to audience, instead choosing to beat out a relentless, hurried assault through their extensive repertoire. Having already achieved critical success almost everywhere except DiS - singer James Petralli isn't slow to debate the merits of the lacklustre review recent long player Fits received on these very pages after the show - they're still to match those plaudits with the kind of commercial acumen you'd expect from such an outfit. However, as the set goes on, it becomes increasingly apparent why they've yet to translate this; White Denim you see, are to all intents and purposes a LIVE band. The way each perfunctory jam moulds itself into the next, it's hard to envisage these guys being sat down by record label executives and asked to write a hit single. Indeed, all of the songs sound like incendiary jams that could very well have been created on the spot, and the way old songs combine with newer material makes it difficult at times to recognise where the last song ended and the next one began.
What this makes for is an exhilerating, no holds barred performance consisting of 19 songs in all, Petralli, bassist Steve Terebecki and drummer Joshua Block never once coming up for air. The looks on the faces of those expecting the second coming of the Followills tell their own stories; this isn't a hamfisted attempt at polarising popularity via watered down songs and a manufactured image, but more like a way of life as White Denim were obviously born to perform. Their loss is our gain, and some...
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