Thursday, 16 November 2017

Desperate Journalist @ The Dome, London, 19th October, 2017

A Fierce Panda Records bop with one of Britain's best indie bands of the day.

I hadn't been back to the Dome in Tufnell Park since my indie-rock student dancing days of the late 90s when they had Loony Tunes night! It's a great, medium-sized venue with a friendly air, and suited Desperate Journalist well.

Me and a friend burst into the venue just as Young Romance were tearing into their instantly anthemic Wasting Time. I was reeled in right away by the pounding Jesus and Mary Chain stand-up drumming, melodic synths and guitars swirling to perfection. 

The comparison of singer Claire's vocals to Kate Bush is easy and true, the high pitch pop and light delivery. 

One of the best moments comes through with the persistent refrain: 'I don't want a love like this anymore / No, I don't want a love like this anymore!' followed by 'Get out, get out / Be on your way.' More in the melody and emotion than anything, so immediately anthemic, Danceable bliss!

They are, quite simply, fabulous, and I have lacked the nous to find them up to now. Album was instantly bought, and I greatly anticipate the second one that's currently being recorded, along with a 2018 spent gadding about watching them lots!
Desperate Journalist have been at the uppermost end of my list of favourite, emerging, young indie bands since I caught them at a nascent gig supporting Six By Seven in 2013. Many a gig, CD, badge, and t-shirt from the band has been snapped up eagerly by me since. I went onto to see the band again within a couple of weeks of this gig, as I clamour at any opportunity.

Since I've not written about the band on here just yet, I need to point out the shiny layers of Cure and Smiths influences - hypnotic guitars all atmospheric and emotive, aching, impassioned vocal deliveries and the most thoughtful and lyrical song words I've heard from a band in quite some time.
The melodies are entrancing, Cure-perfect with vocals delivered in the most Morrissey-idolising way - sometimes drawn out, always with meaning, emotional emphasis, intent - but still Jo Bevan's own style with it all. There's also the added kick of Manic Street Preachers' rock bluster, epicness of Suide, and other British rock influences both musically, lyrically, and in the band's star-like garb and cosmetics. Now that I'm aware that Jo is in the premium Duran Duran tribute band, Joanne Joanne, I can also pick up on 80s synth-op influences more.

On stage, Jo and her band are heroic. They ought to become massive any day now. They've been working away, and their second album advances much of the qualities of their first, in catchiness,  delivery, production, everything. The strength of the musicianship has reached an ideal.
I love the emphatic singing, the way Jo adorns the mic to her, wire winding and close, so the music becomes a meaningful appendage. She sings with power and strength. She sings with Moz-like tremulousness. 

The newer songs feel more tender at times, and many are more forthright in their outright melody, with Why Are You So Boring an all-out pop hit, if you ask me.

All a bit glorious and special - onwards to further brightness they stride.

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