Picture this; it’s Summer 2010, Strongbow Dark Fruits hasn’t been invented yet, everyone is wearing boat shoes, chinos and that Rhianna shirt and Darwin Deez are the soundtrack to your summer. The debut album by DD took the entire UK scene by storm and you couldn’t go to an indie clubnight without hearing Radar Detector. The album, now TWELVE YEARS old is getting played in it’s entirety tonight in Leeds to a packed room in the unmistakeable cool Belgrave Music Hall.
Support band Youth Sector are an energetic five-piece who enter the stage to Gimme Gimme Gimme by ABBA, a perfect way to set the tone for the evening! The songs No1 Bestseller and No Fanfare stand out by a country mile as the best tracks of the set but the crowd is enthusiastic about the set, giving a positive reaction to the band. A well-suited support band for the evening.
Hearing an album live in the order it was intended is really special and tonight is no different. Sauntering onto the stage then dropping straight into some contemporary/hip hop style dance moves isn’t the typical way a band would enter the stage but that’s just the thing with Darwin Deez, they’re anything but typical. Opening the set with the classic Constellations, immediately the crowd are lively and are pulling off dance moves that the band can only dream of performing. Deep Sea Divers and The City sound as good live as they do on the album, both huge singalong tracks and the Leeds crowd do not disappoint in joining in with vocalist Darwin Smith.
DNA is a syncopated indie bop that makes your shoulders shimmy and legs bounce, these songs have stood the test of time and sound perfect even though they are almost teenagers..! Before they drop into Up In The Clouds, the band play a section of the song Lights On- a track they used to play before the song in 2009/10, a real treat for any hardcore fans of the band here tonight.
The cheeky indie classic Radar Detector obviously goes down as the track people have been most looking forward to the entire evening. The lyrics are being screamed back to the band and the Leeds folk are dancing like nobody is watching.. seriously… some of those dance moves, wow Leeds! The repeated bridge of “you are a radar detector” must’ve been heard as far as Bradford, it’s moments like these when watching live music that people have missed during the pandemic- it’s so good to be back to normal. Bad Day is just utter perfection, it was the perfect track to close out the album and the perfect way to end the first part of the gig tonight.
There was no way the band would leave West Yorkshire without playing a couple of tracks from their other albums- the audience still had tonnes of energy for these tracks but as expected, they didn’t go down as well as the debut album songs.
Darwin Deez still know how to put on a great live show and the tracks evidently stand the test of time. They’re the perfect band to start the summer with.