Live Review: DIIV / Bdrmm – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London 12.03.2024

Henry Groves

By Henry Groves

Although there are 2 months until the release of their 4th studio album ‘Frog in Boiling Water’, the shoegaze icons were back in the UK, showing off their new music. Returning to the Forum in Kentish Town, 3 years after their last show at the same venue, celebrating the release of their last album ‘Deceiver’, there was clearly a buzz in the capital for the next DIIV instalment. 

Opening the night is one of the UK’s most exciting shoegaze bands, bdrmm. Their incline has been steady, from playing shows as teenagers in Yorkshire basements and a crowdfunded tour to now playing massive EU tours and touring with bands including Mogwai and Ride. But there was no doubt that the 3 shows with DIIV were some of the most special. Even before the band took to the stage, Kentish Town had started to fill out, and it was clear to see why. Their setlist showed off the best from their albums with my favourites being ‘Happy’ and ‘Push Pull’. Like DIIV the band have limited interactions with the crowd, but their set certainly would have made an impression on anyone not familiar with the band.

By the end of Bdrmm, Kentish Town was about as packed as I have ever seen it, with crowds at the back, almost on the merch stand. There was such anticipation for the band, that it filled the room with thousands of fans desperately waiting for the band to take the stage. Before they came on, a video was projected on the back, playing an almost Black Mirror style infomercial which was a part of many clips played throughout the set. The bands new album has a political theme and focuses on the “brutal realities that we accept as normal”. The website they have made to go with the release features pyramid schemes and conspiracy theories. “That is the boiling water, and we are the frogs”.

As the band took to the stage, the venue erupted and you could already tell this was going to be a special night. From the very first note of “Like Before You Were Born”, their sound engulfed the room and felt almost hypnotic. Their setlist featured many unreleased songs from their upcoming album, and was supported by crowd favourites including ‘Under the Sun’ and ‘Acheron’ as well as new singles and my pick of the set ‘Brown Paper Bag’. The show truly showed why they are such an accomplished band, and why they have attracted such large numbers of fans in the UK. 

This was disappointingly the first DIIV show I had ever been to, and if previous shows were half as good as this one, then I have truly been missing out. 

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