It’s hard not to have a good time when listening to Darwin Deez. Their unique brand of awkward indie pop made them cult icons in the indie rock scene ever since they dropped their self-titled debut album way back in 2010. The frontman (also confusingly called Darwin Deez) encapsulates their quirky image with his trademark curly locks that tumble over his thin, tightly wound headband. If this doesn’t prove it for you just think back to 2010 when Darwin Deez from the band Darwin Deez released a self-titled debut album called ‘Darwin Deez’. Quirky.
Whilst most bands like to make a large entrance to whip the crowd up into a frenzy this is not the case tonight. Instead, after walking on stage the audience are treated to a surreal synchronised dance routine, the kind of thing a young child might show to their mother before being dismissed with a ‘yes dear, that’s lovely.’ These are littered throughout the show and provide many light hearted comic moments in between songs. It’s in these complete moments of ridiculousness, where the band are all grinning while dancing to a mash up of Enya and Rage against the Machine, that Darwin Deez’s inexorable charm becomes obvious.
New songs from their third studio album ‘Double Down’ nestle in nicely with the more recognisable older tunes, with songs like Kill your Attitude and Time Machine getting as big a response as the classics. Although with this said, the set list is noticeably heavier with songs from their self-titled first album, but no-one’s complaining. The crowd don’t mind as they get all the hits, whilst the band are guaranteed to get more sing a longs, it’s a win-win situation.
On record the guitar work seems like nothing special, it’s good for the brand of indie pop that Darwin Deez have coined, but not particularly amazing. This is not the case live, as frontman Darwin seamlessly dips in and out of various guitar solo’s showcasing his skills not only as a singer but also as a very talented guitarist. Some solos last minutes, some seconds, but no-one really cares as they’re already having too much fun.
‘This is one of my favourite songs to perform’ Darwin admits before launching into crowd pleaser You can’t be my Girl. This immediately gets the entire room moving, dancing like they’ve had one too many drinks at the pub. Everyone’s grooving like no one else is watching, maybe because they know if the band are doing it, they can do it too. The band’s breakout hit Radar Detector garners one of the bigger singalongs of the night, particularly in the chorus as the crowd bellows the lyrics right back at Darwin. ‘You are a radar detector’ he repeats slowly building into a warbling falsetto, whilst the crowd try (and fail) to emulate the high notes along with him.
The night’s biggest sing a long was, of course, reserved for the band’s biggest hit Bad Day, although not before they take the time to orchestrate a synchronised routine which involved a dance off between band members on stage (because why the hell not?). When the band finally do break into their last song, the following three minutes are filled with nothing but singing as the crowd send every word Darwin sings right back to the stage. ‘Every day ought to be a bad day for you,’ they sing at the top of their lungs, but when your live shows are as fun as this no-one really means it.
By Matt Austin