Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Chew Lips / Delphic @ Stoke Sugarmill. Sunday 7th March 2010

Review by Sian Eardley

Tonight was a night of epic proportion. The performances were hot. Smoking hot. For saying there were two major acts on in the are (Trivium headlining at Keele University), I know I was in the right place, and I very much ‘doubt’ that the American Headliners could have pulled a show-stopper like this.

It was sold out, and rightly so. Delphic are currently storming the charts, in the hearts of MTV-2 indie lovers, and having just returned from Radio One’s ‘In New Music We Trust Tour’ in Newcastle, they were full of spark.

From young teens, to mums and dads in the crowd, it was a full and varied turnout to see some fresh, and damn good live music. Yes, Delphic may be ‘of the time’, but you have to get ‘with the times’ to enjoy them (i.e. be musically in-touch). It may be musically fashionable, but it’s glorious and invigorating all the same. It’s the sound of the generation.

During the long and bitterly cold wait to get into The Sugarmill (which only added to the ever-increasing atmosphere of anticipation), Chew Lips multi instrumentalist Will Sanderson, was outside poetically puffing away on a Marlboro Red, telling of Delphic’s singer, James Cook, being a ‘quality lad’; concerns of 6 Music being shut, as it’s how such bands get discovered, and Delphic’s massive obsession with Kraftwerk and Bjork, and how when they tour Iceland in the upcoming weeks, they hope to meet the native singer. I must say, that it was utterly endearing to hear such tour tales, and you can’t help but feel excited for Delphic as they make their way onto the radar, and at this point in their career, we get to experience all of this with them, which is just magical.

However, support band 'Chew Lips' are pretty big themselves now. They were tipped towards the latter half of 2009 to make it big, and now here they are now having released two singles and their debut album'Unicorn' last month. All this before going to perform at SXSW, and they're even returning to The Sugarmill on April 27th. You must check them out if this sounds like your bag.

There were three desks for two bands. It was very much lights, lights, lights and projecting kaleidoscopic sound, menaing big business. Lead singer Tigs jumped onto the stage serenading us "Hello you sexy Brits!", in the style of a Debbie Harry, Topshop pixie princess with the elegant vocals of a British Karen O. The penultimate 'Solo' was the biggest hit and her moves and aura hit out at everyone in the crowd. Check out other tracks 'Salt air' and 'Slick' on their myspace.

The night of fusion of indie dance heaven triumphed through until the end with the appearance of Delphic, who had a fabulous hour long set showcasing their album 'Acolyte'. The stage was arranged intricately with synths and guitars and more strobe lights than you'd find in epilepsy Hell, but they were a stella accompianment to the musical display.

They kicked off with the big one's first, 'Doubt' was simply insane, the infectious vocals and synthesised twangs, led to one massive wave of fans getting lost in the moment at the front of the stage in a word, it was blinding. Just to observe it, you felt privileged to see this electronic spectrum before your very eyes, looking to the pioneers of indie today. They adapted to the fan’s reaction, if they lapped it up, they’d play an extended remix version – for ‘Doubt’ and ‘Halcyon’ later.

It was just a really good time, which injected that feel of summer memories and festival days, with a stream of surfers everywhere. They too, are obviously fans of the ‘80’s, and many of the original Joy Division and New Order fans to see the progression of today’s electro scientists. The band were also kitted out in suit-uniform like the days of Curtis, and a young Tom Smith when Editors were in their premature days. The guitar solos were out of this world, as were the electronic ones. Delphic are truly like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and in this intimate setting, it’s these kind of nights that you can really love at The Sugarmill; bands just at their peak, still appreciative and not cocky, just purely talented.

The lighting, like little comets came flying across the ceiling, just as transfixing as the band, it was like stepping back in time, to a hazy 80’s discotheque (thanks to the fog machine), or at least the Hacienda days of The Happy Mondays. It had that ambience. Every song was as energetic as an Editors gig finale of ‘Fingers in the Factories’, which is madness. The whole night was just…happening!

With a gracious: ‘Goodnight, you’ve been awesome!’, the fifteen minute rendition of ‘Counterpoint’ was a corker. Seeing it sober was spectacular, but I imagine beer-goggles holds a certain appealing edge to their performance, as I’m sure those at the front of the audience could tell you.

Delphic are now right up there at the top of my gig list, and you know what? So are Chew Lips! The buzz of people, and the musical amalgamation just rocked my socks. If we’re ever that fortunate to ever have them return, (which is doubtful because they’re just about to be stupidly huge), it’s imperative that you DO NOT MISS THEM!

Chew Lips

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