Deap Vally @ Thekla, Bristol, 15/09/2016

Deap VallyDeap Vally head to Thekla this evening for the first gig of their huge tour around the UK, Europe and America. They’ve been pretty busy recently recording the brilliantly titled new album, Femejism, which is due for release only a day later, so Thekla is bound to get a sneak preview tonight.

The mosh pit forms almost before they’ve begun with opener “Little Baby Beauty Queen”, causing drinks to fly everywhere. Despite Deap Vally being only a two person band, the sheer volume of noise that they produce is intense. Ears are popping left, right and centre from their heavy drums, intense distortion and screeching Californian vocal to the point where standing in front of the speakers is bound to cause irreparable hearing damage.

Wearing matching tasselled leopard print bodysuits, the duo ooze the classic American rock band attitude. Lead singer, Lindsey Troy, struts around the stage, leaning into the crowd like she owns the place while Julie Edwards head bangs on the drums, providing a loud rock beat.

It’s a Femijism heavy set list, sampling a number of new tracks including “Smile More” and “Gonnawanna”. Their new album attacks gender conventions and societal norms to basically summarise that they don’t give a fuck in true rock fashion, providing opportunity for the two of them to scream to the crowd that they “want to break some shit and sniff some glue."

After some deliberation between the pair over the set list, Lindsey announces their last song. It’s barely 9.30pm which is the biggest pitfall of holding gigs at Thekla, with the club nights planned for immediately afterwards, ushering bands to finish disappointingly early. At least the encore doesn’t disappoint as they come back with three more distortion-laden tracks. Lindsey crowd surfs for the second time with guitar still in hand, continuing to play as she lies across the crowd. They seem to know that she’s due back on stage to sing in a minute, propping her up like some kind of Californian rock goddess. Their final encore and lead single from new album, “Royal Jelly” demands the lights off altogether. A solitary bright green beam creates an eerie end to their show, fitting the “light at the end of the tunnel” lyrics to a tee.

Leaving with a ringing in ear, there’s no doubt that Deap Vally are a force to be reckoned with. Their feminist angst and don’t-give-a-fuck attitudes are keeping the rock spirit alive, ramped up with intense distortion, heavy drums and Californian twang. I can’t wait to hear Femisjism in its entirety.

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