Friday, 8 January 2010

NME Radar show @ The Relentless Garage w/ Delphic & Mirrors

On a freezing cold Thursday night, it was the job of Delphic and Mirrors to thaw the bodies of those inside The Relentless Garage for NME's Radar show. As the name suggests, these are two British bands who NME feel will be flying the flag in the not so distant future - and quite rightly so.

Sharly-dressed Brighton quartet Mirrors (pictured above left) took to the stage first. Led by frightfully posh front man James, their synth-heavy, 80's-influenced brand of Electro Pop had more than just their heads bobbing. Final track 'Hide and Seek' had an especially contagious melody - one that I heard repeated a few minutes later as whistled by a punter standing at the urinal next to mine - while 'Into The Heart' was another standout track from their set. 

There was a particluar buzz around the arrival of Delphic (pictured below left) to the stage, as a member of BBC's (amongst many others) Sound of 2010 longlist. After an ambient, building start, the three-piece burst in to life with a sound more than a little reminiscent to Bloc Party's more energetic and electronic moments. Some neat samples bridged the gap perfectly into recent single Doubt, and they continued to use these fills well throughout the set. Performance and sound-wise, I'm normally scepitcal of bands that use sampled beats as opposed to an on-stage drummer, but Delphic nail it - their robo-drummer injecting some interesting beats and quirky fills into their set. What struck me instantly was how tight the band are; perfectly excecuted twin vocal work complimenting the tangle of guitar effects and heavy synth. The band blasted through a rather short set which featured a host of other tracks off upcoming full-length Acolyte, including the equally brilliant This Momentary and Counterpoint. They finish their set with an encore consisting of one track that sounds like it should be an interlude - toying back and forth between delayed, atmospheric guitars and thumping beats - but which still somehow works brilliantly. Being a huge Bloc Party fan this is a massive shout - but Delphic sound how Bloc Party should've sounded when they decided to take more of an Electro route.         

Credit must also go to The Relentless Garage, who got the sound absolutely spot on all night. The only criticism I have of the show is that it would have worked better on a Friday or Saturday evening, maybe a little later into the night, when a few beers would have given the crowd the lift to exaggerate their shapes somewhat more. Both Mirrors and Delphic have more than enough in their arsenal to generate an all out party atmosphere.

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