Dan DisgraceSumati @ The Zanzibar 20/2/20
It’s likely a first for The Zanzibar to be transported to the deep south during a gig, but DAN DISGRACE makes it happen. Backlit by a whimsical projection from a GoPro strapped to the front of a train, we rush through mountains, canyons and plains all while the be-suited musician steers us through a set of dreamy, lo-fi tunes, some previously released, some seeing the stage for the first time.
Opening with Mush Cloud, Mr Disgrace operates with a backing track, and the first few beats anticipate the catchiest of elevator music. His harmonies then take us back to the 60s via a modern twist through distorted echoes and DeMarco-esque guitar. It all makes us long for the summer, and for these cold snaps and weekly storms to bugger off.
Originally, Daniel West was backed by a band, but says mixing and recording his songs independently has meant the atmosphere he wants to create is captured better. It does work well for him: the slightly oversized suit and loose tie, the juxtaposing adidas trainers, the bottle of Desperado he sips between songs. A band would stifle this image and take us out of the story he so convincingly creates.
The crowd at the Zanzi are in good spirits, bopping to the music and yelling praise as West takes another glug of the lager and tequila concoction before switching songs on his trusty laptop. We are there to celebrate the release of his debut EP Nightmare Music and the excitement is clear as we hear Twisted Sister and Troubles for the first time.
It is the last song Commission, however, that really gets everyone moving. Being trapped in an office job was what propelled Disgrace into creating in a bid to escape the mundane. He chimes “Maybe I could take out a pay day loan/update the contract on my phone,” and although it reminds us of work, of bosses, the horror of our everyday lives, we can’t help but move along to it. Long live the ruminative indie pop song.