A snarling return to the days of grunge given a modern lick. But a really, really short set. Curtailed enjoyment.

Date: September 24, 2014

Venue: Rescue Rooms

It’s not quite time to dig out your plaid shirts and baggy jumpers just yet, but there’s definitely something of a grunge revival about Manchester-via-Blackpool three-piece Darlia.

Theirs is a rather excellent reimagining of grunge, as the filthy sounds of 90s US noise-rock stinks the Rescue Rooms out. But there’s much more going on beneath the grime.

Front man Nathan Day’s rattling larynx tackles some dark and embittered lyrical moments, particularly on ‘Queen of Hearts’, on which he can be heard uttering murderous intentions. “Anyone up for a kill?/I don’t like the way they looked at me/Don’t tempt my head with thrills”, while the equally unsettling but superb ‘Dear Diary’ hints at a perverted stalker’s lurid approach: “I could be your pretty little dear diary/You could tell me all your secrets”, he howls, without any semblance of compassion, instead making what could easily be an Olly Murs lyric sound like a sleazy proposition. Naturally, the crowd lap it up.

Nathan is an unnerving hybrid of Cobain and Doherty, his blonde locks tumbling out from beneath a trilby, his shrill echoic thoughout.
Napalm starts the set, setting the tone of the gig with its scuzzy, filthy nu-grunge. Newie Never Been To Ohio highlights their druggy rock, while the afore-mentioned Queen of Hearts prompts a mosh pit and ends the gig at the ridiculously early time of 9:25!

But within the miserly 40 minutes we get, Darlia showcase their scuzzy grunge and hypnotic, narcotic rock which is balanced perfectly, combining an old-yet-new sound with effortless expertise.


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