Thekla | 15th September
Thekla was kickstarted by Colarado two piece The Velveteers who have a knack for brooding pop rock with plenty of attitude to boot, they were the perfect choice for support. But where our the ferocious females themselves? Gliding on stage bang on time at half past 8, the main spectacle Deap Vally seemed relaxed and at ease with the Bristol crowd sporting tassly leopard print numbers.
‘Little Baby Beauty Queen’ throws us straight into the show with clamouring cymbals, stuttering guitars, and breathy shouts embodies rock and roll to its glamorous extremes, while ‘Bad For My Body’ boasts saccharine sweet vocal rasps akin to Chrissie Hynde, in perfect unison with the razor sharp riffs.
It’s the songs that proudly strut feminist flavour that shine the brightest. ‘Gonna Make My Own Money’ rattles off and spins into its own empowered harmony with its taunts of “say you’re gonna marry a rich man”. If that hints at their beliefs then ‘Smile More’, the anthem that sticks a middle finger up at men who tell girls to look happier only clarifies it with “yes, I am feminist”.
Fresh from the trippy ’70s beach Bigfoot visuals, this ‘Gonnawanna’ pumps with all the familiar energy of The Breeders at their lo-fi best. Stopping to talk a few times, Lindsay makes a point of thanking Creativity Knitting shop in Bristol, but not before pointing out Big Jeff: “I’ve seen you before!”. As usual, his presence is the sign of one hell of a gig. Yet not everyone’s presence means as much. For all the pair’s ‘femejism’, comments like “Lindsay’s definitely hotter than the drummer” from the audience defeat the point of what the band stand for. But whether it was heard or not, in no way is it going to deter Deap Vally from what they are actually here for – to rock and roll.
I’d be damned if the epic ‘End of the World’ wasn’t worth a mention, bringing a loud cheer from the crowd as it kicked in with its cascading guitars throwing us back to the impending doom of 2012. What really made a beguiling listen is ‘Six Feet Under’, which could be seen as a risky choice but is the perfect closer. Or is it? The girls threw the words “last song” around more than a few times, but the encore was so something special, drafting in old favourite ‘Baby I Call Hell’ and the grinding juggernaut of Femejism, ‘Royal Jelly’, that had enough force to bring the boat down. High before the release of their second album, Deap Vally have exceeded expectations and delivered a show to remember. Bristol, meet Femejism.
Watch Deap Vally’s video for ‘Gonnawanna’ below.