London – Since the release of their exceedingly well received debut album “Sistrionix” in June this year, much fuss has been made about Californian duo Deap Vally. After meeting at a needlework class (really!) in 2011, Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards have developed an unconventional sound which is mesmerising, yet hard to pin down. There’s elements of everything thrown in; it’s The Black Keys meets HAIM meets Death From Above 1979 meets Fleetwood Mac meets the White Stripes meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs and quite a bit more for good measure. We headed down to catch them at London’s Electric Ballroom to try and figure it all out.
“Baby Got Back” may not be the obvious choice as entrance music for most all-girl groups, but conventionality has never been Deap Vally’s strong point. In a whirl of hot pants and hair, Lindsey’s much-distorted guitar brings Sir Mix A-Lot’s early 90’s tribute to chauvinism to a screeching halt as the ladies from the west coast burst into album track “Raw Material”.
The band tear through “Walk of Shame” and “Bad For My Body” at breakneck speed, stopping briefly for pleasantries with the packed crowd. Whilst the songs are often not always note perfect, they don’t need to be, and there’s an intensity on stage that’s absorbing. As with other twosomes such as Blood Red Shoes and The White Stripes, Troy and Edwards have learned how to make their instrumentation fill a venue through some clever guitar riffs and a properly massive sound. That, and volume, lots and lots of volume.
As you’d expect from a band touring their first album, the majority of “Sitrionix” got a good airing, much to the audience’s delight. Single “Gonna Make My Own Money” earned a rapturous reception with the crowd singing the refrain back at the pair in full voice. “Lies”, a song which was given the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge treatment back in February was equally popular, as were impressive performances of “Creeplife” and new feminist anthem “Woman of Intention”.
There’s no doubt that the band know how to put on a show, with Lindsey jumping into the crowd towards the end of the evening as Julie keeps the noise high, hammering away at her kit. As ever, their set comes to a close with the infectious “Baby I Can Hell” which is as good a rock tune as you’ll hear all year. And with that, the girls disappear into the night. Or at least into a Twitter advertised meet ‘n’ greet for the first 200 people in line pre-show. As a side note, the band are well worth a follow with a twitter feed more regularly updated than the Queens of the Stone Age lineup.
As a live band, there’s no great surprises from Deap Vally. They’re louder and faster than on “Sitrionix” with the pair putting on a hell of a show. As the band release more material over the coming year and the crowds will grow larger, it will almost be a shame that the venues will follow suit. The duo are definitely one to catch up close and personal and there’s plenty of opportunity for those in mainland Europe over the coming weeks (some dates in LA and NY in December too). If their London show was anything to go by, it’ll be a gig not to miss.