I’ve read countless accounts of how good DZ Deathrays are live and had sort of made my mind up that they were going to be massively over-hyped. I admit it, I was wrong. I was so wide of the mark it’s laughable. These guys are the reason live music is, and will continue to be, so addictive.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night of music at the sold out Shacklewell Arms. All three acts were superb and each of them packed out the venue. You go to some gigs and there is small collection of folks hanging around the bar waiting for the main act. Not tonight. Each band was fully supported and it made such a difference to proceedings.

Bonfire Nights kicked of the evening will a wonderful set of psych-rock. Except for one or two pedal issues they showed glimmers of real talent. You couldn’t take your eyes off of drummer Ruth Nitkiewicz  who played with the ferocity of a mini-hurricane but maintained this incredible smile throughout. Their final track ‘Ego Death’ was a multi-tempo’d show-stopper that received a deserved response from this receptive audience. Certainly a band for the future.

Second up were the equally impressive Bloody Knees, who we featured a few weeks ago on the GIGsoup site. The tempo was high and the noise increased ten-fold as they gave us songs of old and songs from their forthcoming 6 track EP ‘Stitches’. The lead track from this, ’Daydream’, was the standout in a very impressive set. Bradley Griffiths voice is something quite remarkable and if you are at either the Leeds or Reading festivals go and check them out.

And finally it was the turn of DZ Deathrays to entertain. This was LP release night for the Australian duo but they started proceedings with ‘No Sleep’ from their 2012 LP ‘Bloodstreams’. However, it was soon a case of out with the old and in with the new as we were treated to ‘Northern Lights’ and play-list favourite ‘Reflective Skull’.

The bands energy is quite incredible. It’s a non-stop spectacle of the highest order as Pearson jumps into the crowd on a number of occasions and rarely remains motionless on-stage. To maintain this level of stamina throughout this UK tour is no mean feat.

We continued apace with crowd favourite ‘Gina Works at Hearts’ and the title track from the new LP ‘Black Rat’. It’s an exhausting performance of high octane rock that leaves you demanding more. My doubts about the bands over-hyped live performance have well and truly been shattered. Its an absolutely invigorating demonstration of how live music should be.

DZ Deathrays new LP ‘Black Rat’ is out now on Infectious Records.

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