The Two Palms of Hackney feels trimmer than most venues. Its stage condensed, so much so that all players, drummer and DJ included, find themselves horizontally aligned, pinned against a wall rich with angular and oblique shapes of different colours. The corridor space and hippie colours brings with them an atmosphere of urbane ease. Draw whatever utopian conclusions you want from that observation.
But the headline act, White Devil Disco have the potential to kipper and pickle this room ripe for bohemian plotting. Within a year and three singles, WDD have cast themselves as the darkened and gothic side of the indie-rock penny, opposite too, but forever engaged with more festival friendly guitar bands.
As a seven piece their set is thorough in its exploration of sleazy textures. Midi synth tones, sax, man and woman answer and call grunting, industrial guitar, marching drums and front man Curly Joe’s heavy bass. Their set houses all three singles. Dog could have been the anthem for the XL bully anti-protests but instead it corroborates London tales of band members who struggle in social situations. Trouble draws similar abstractions from the guts of song, a deranged duet, dancing to the timeless romantic-truth; the light we are drawn to is bright enough to burn.
It is Red however, the final song and most original record the band have put out yet, that brings uniformity to the room. A ghostly march through the highs and lows of negation. Curly Joe’s late Cohen-esque snarl over the band playing a Suicide style four chord routine is a satisfying way to end any evening.
WDD already have an accomplished studio sound and now they are in the business of bringing their gothic pop around the city and soon hopefully further. They next play The Ivy House in Nunhead on 10th November.
Article by Patrick Malone
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