The dreary weather has failed to drive the masses into the sheltered reaches of Arts Club. It seems like as good a night as any to gather in a loft and witness some live music, but, alas, support act PURPLE emerge to a tiny crowd.
The Texan three-piece have been taking audiences by storm with their unrelenting, breathless take on rock ‘n’ roll and, though the audience tonight may be lacking in size, the band are met with much enthusiasm. Hanna Brewer sits behind the kit and is a furious sphere of energy throughout. Her vocal delivery is like a rasping, demon-version of e B-52s’ Cindy Wilson after a rough night, adding a more interesting edge to what are at times fairly conventional rock songs. Single Thirteen is a short, raucous burst which encapsulates Purple fairly well: a combination of discordant, off-rhythm guitar and possessed drumming that threatens to fall apart at any moment but somehow doesn’t. For those looking to satisfy a cerebral urge for avant-garde pop music, Purple are not the band to see. But for those looking to have a fucking great house party, well, speak to their booking agent.
Given the small amount of recorded music that main band DEMOB HAPPY have available, either online or physically, it is perhaps surprising that they have embarked on a headline UK tour already. Indeed, it appears that they are touring on the back of a single, the newly released Succubus, and, though the crowd at the Arts Club has grown slightly as they walk on stage, word-of-mouth has clearly not been as effective as hoped for. However, after the manic intensity of the support, there is a definite hunger amongst those present for much of the same and that is pretty much what they get.
Demob’s songs are cleverly constructed, fragmentary webs thinly disguised by abrasive guitar tones and a penchant for heavy choruses. Clearly influenced by 90s grunge and hardcore punk, their use of dynamics is surprising and interesting. Young And Numb is dissonantly anthemic at times and perhaps the most obviously Nirvana-inspired of the tracks on display tonight, whilst also baring some resemblance to more contemporary influences such as Ty Segall.
Comparisons aside they are an impressive and entertaining live act and, despite some issues with the sound in the venue (meaning the bass is almost completely lost for two songs), it has been a memorable performance. The performance certainly whets the appetite for something bigger from them in the future. Whether that be an album or just some more tracks up online remains to be seen. If this current crop of songs is anything to go by, we may be in for a treat.