sun 26/05/2024

Delphic, The Komedia, Brighton | reviews, news & interviews

Delphic, The Komedia, Brighton

Delphic, The Komedia, Brighton

Rising Manchester indie-electronic sorts struggle to catch a fire

Delphic, stuck in second gear until the encore

There’s currently a bemusing wave of bands that combine electronic dance with indie stylings. Acts such as Foals, Everything Everything and Delphic are increasingly successful but seem to my ears, at least on record, to be neither fish nor fowl. Whenever they hit a decent dance pulse, they douse the flames with jangle-pop that just doesn’t seem to fit. Clearly many disagree as these outfits are increasingly popular and it’s claimed the live arena is where they come into their own.

Time to find out.

Tonight Delphic have the odds stacked against them from the start. Their gig doesn’t suit the venue. The Komedia can be great but, somehow, for Delphic the low ceiling and lack of visibility doesn’t add up to a sweaty cellar club so much as an atmosphere killer. On top of this the crowd, which I was expecting to be enthused, bouncing students and the like, turn out to be an ensemble of mostly males in their thirties and older who, for much of the gig, stand like monoliths and watch the stage intently rather than dancing to the music that's coming from it. Hardly any jiggling about is visible, which must be curious for a band ostensibly in the business of getting a groove on.

The crowd finally seems to wake up and realise the night will shortly end

Delphic don’t look like much, either, which is no help here, although singer James Cook now sports an odd little spiv moustache. They play their catchy 2010 single “Halcyon” up front but their sound is somewhat murky and the dynamic is flat. I can’t help thinking The Klaxons did all this with many times more panache around six years ago. With low-key red lighting surrounding them the band dip into their two albums, the more Manchester-generic debut Acolyte and this year’s only partially successful stab at epic indie-tronic pop, Collections. There are five onstage - guitars, bass, drums, synths - rather than the original core of three, and they really hurl themselves into it, proclaiming it’s the final gig of their tour and that we are the best crowd. I hope, for their sake, that the latter is not true.

Thus it continues, the starter motor never quite catching until the encore and it’s here that things briefly come alive. Motoring into a New Order-ish throb, they hammer into new song “Atlas” and the crowd finally seems to wake up and realise the night will shortly end so they’d better make the most of it. There is, at last, a palpable sense of occasion, something it would have been useful to attain a great deal earlier. By the time Delphic conclude with their 2012 official Olympics single “Good Life”, everything’s cooking. It’s too late to save the gig but the band, not given to flamboyant gestures apart from in the singing department, suddenly realise they’ve hit a seam of concert gold and the crowd follow them, whooping and even waving their arms in the air. At the last and with the odds against them, Delphic just about pulled it out of the bag.

Watch the video for "Baiya"

Hardly any jiggling about is visible, which must be curious for a band ostensibly in the business of getting a groove on

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters