Deap Vally – Stylus, Leeds (17th September 2016)

Commencing the world headlining tour for their highly-anticipated second record just two days before in Bristol, the Californian female duo stormed Leeds on the Saturday night. The girls had just finished their five-show support slot for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘The Getaway’ tour, as well as support for Wolfmother earlier in the year. Supporting such high-profile acts, the duo had to be beaming with confidence when finally approaching the world headlining tour for their second record, ‘Femejism’.

Before the Valley girls hit the Stylus stage however, sister-brother duo The Velveteers, all the way from Denver, Colorado treated punters to a half-an-hour set of fuzz-induced rockers. The duo closed with ‘Death Hex’, a heavy stomper drawn straight from the vein of Black Sabbath and also their only officially released studio material. The Velveteers received a warm applause, they showed promise and were a perfect warm-up appetiser to the impending performance from the Californian fuzz queens.

Deap Vally calmly strolled onto the stage and took up their respective positions. They opened with ‘Little Baby Beauty Queen’, a cut from their new record. A bold move, considering it isn’t a lead single and the album only dropped a day before, yet a move that solidifies the confidence levels of the bold blues rockers.

Swarmed by a pink and green light show, the girls move into ‘Gonna Make My Own Money’, a popular cut from their debut and has since been a live staple. Guitarist-vocalist Lindsey Troy expertly works the mic whilst tenaciously strumming on her fuzzed-up Fender Jaguar guitar.

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Four tracks from the new record then follow, including the groovy ‘Bubble Baby’ where drummer-vocalist Julie Edwards strikes her kit with such ferocity, causing her to consistently jump out of her seat. The girls occasionally engage in some chit-chat with the audience, at one point Troy claims she doesn’t understand what they’re saying, followed by Edwards joking with them, saying “it’s too early for requests, guys”.

The duo then launch into “an oldie but a goodie” in the form of ‘End of the World’, subsequently generating a rave reaction from the crowd. Troy stands atop her monitor and bashes out the opening riff, provoking the audience to clap along. Approaching the end of their set, Troy pleads with the crowd to buy their new album, claiming that it will “femejise you”.

The band launch into another oldie, ‘Lies’. Towards the end of the track, Edwards drums whilst Troy whips out her tambourine and proceeds to abruptly crowd-surf, before returning to the stage and dancing barefoot to Edwards’ frantic drum beat.

The three-track encore contains debut hits ‘Baby I Call Hell’ and ‘Walk of Shame’, yet the rowdy duo close with ‘Femejism’ lead single ‘Royal Jelly’. Troy recites the infectious intro riff atop Edwards’ bass drum, however due to her guitar seemingly slipping out of tuning, it unfortunately detracts from the great power of the hook melody.

The duo’s  17-track setlist is rounded off by a whirlwind of fuzz from Troy’s feed-backing guitar as they leave the stage to mass cheers reverberating around the small university venue. A great performance from a talented duo who managed to succeed their debut album with a set of slick cuts that also translate very well to the live stage.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

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