I thought this fella’s chance had come and gone, but the sell-out crowd proved me wrong. He’s a talented bloke, too.
Date: October 25, 2015
Darwin Deez first came to the attention of hipsters five years ago, when his (or should that be their, as the name officially refers to the collective) debut single Constellations pitted him as a lost member of The Strokes forging a career of lo-fi alt-indie via some extremely well crafted songs. He became the midpoint between The Strokes’ NYC cool and Indie slackers Pavement, with the look of a young Weird Al Yankovic and the guitar mastery of a white Hendrix.
Five years later and things are pretty much the same. His hair is still a tangled poodle perm held in place by a string headband, his moustache is still ridiculous and now on album number three, he’s still an entertainer of real quality.
Live, Darwin’s recorded lo-fi shuffle-pop is transformed into spectacular jangle-pop with some heavy hitting tunes and rapier-sharp riffs.
This is not before the four members jump onto the stage to a hip-hop backing tune, gesticulating to the crowd a ‘bounce’ command to which they dutifully oblige in unison.
This type of choreographed japery intersperses their set, with dance moves stolen from OkGo, but without the treadmills.
Darwin also demonstrates his skilful guitar histrionics, including the ‘guitar played behind the head’ posture, pushing home the Hendrix reference.
The set is peppered with crowd favourites, but it’s Constellations and the triumphant Radio Detector that get the biggest cheers.
Before they begin the encore, Darwin hosts a Q & A session. After answering a question about his hair (never washed it apparently), a young girl asks to join him onstage. Ever the gent he obliges, and she enjoys her ‘Bez-like’ spell in the limelight.
He ends with the wonderfully spiteful Bad Day. But to those who witnessed Darwin’s unconventional style at the sold out Bodega, they had a very good night at least.