“Let me recover” is a line all too familiar with those who attended last nights gig. The Dexters boys were in town, and accompanied by some of Birmingham’s freshest. It was Luke Round who broke in an otherwise distracted crowd – competing only with The Victoria’s drinks prices, and its raucous atmosphere downstairs. Playing tracks from his Static Skies EP, out earlier this year, alongside other material – Round set about a growing crowd with an abrasive, yet memorable voice. Lyrically shrewd, and in no way showing a complacency all too recognizable in the Acoustic department recently, tracks like ‘Space Man Mornings’ and ‘Still The Same’ – each respective potential singles – echoed exactly why Birmingham’s the place to be for independent music right now. Also confirming this, were local band The Circles – a three-piece insistent on the kind of tight-knit sound comparable only to the likes of The Strokes, or a heavier Beatles. It’s just so easy to fall head over heels with The Circles because they’re so undeniably and undoubtedly cool. Lead vocalist Paul Cross parades a swagger similar to that of Jack White, and all whilst enticing the same level of awe. There’s no doubt this lot will go far, because clear influences aside, they’re still patently original. Their set was short, sweet, and left The Victoria in fits of chatter. Who were they? And what had we just witnessed? Greatness. Keeping that flame alive were locals Thieves, a four-piece with tasteful arrogance, and apparent love for having it out on stage. Flares of Oasis, the Stone Roses, and even at times Feeder diluted the air, whilst the band crashed their way through a sharp seven track set. Cited as updating the brit-pop sound, and known for having a straight-cut indie twang, it came as a pleasant surprise to learn Thieves were reluctant in hiding and maintaining a jocular side throughout. Signing off with one of their most memorable, ’48 Hours’, a concoction of brash guitars and Jake Goodman’s poised vocal work, attentions were then turned to a shifting Dexter’s, readying the stage for what promised to be a brilliant set. And it was just that. As Dexters started up, lead man Rowlett was nowhere to be seen. Eventually emerging from the venue’s entrance and immediately kicking up a fuss amongst a now packed floor – he beholds the kind of stage presence that can only come from the time spent relentlessly gigging and spreading the word of Dexters. With the release of Shimmer Gold last Monday, and streams of positive feedback already flowing in, it was no surprise to see Dexter’s brimming with a particular certainty. “If you don’t know this one you wont know any of ‘em.” That was Rowlett’s cue for the bands notable single ‘Recover’ – arguably their most infectious effort. The entire set saw an already lively crowd get more and more involved – welcoming in their favourite tracks from the debut album, as well as some unfamiliar tunes. With talks of Dexters having already started working on new material, it was yet to be witnessed. New track ‘Nature of the Beast’ caught the majority of those attending off guard. If anything, it was a promise of something we all wanted solidified. The promise of Dexters never going away. A good night for all those involved, and once more, the ever-important reminder that this City has undeniable talent.
- Metronomy + Virginia Wing, The Institute, Birmingham 21/03/14
- Franz Ferdinand + Eagulls, O2 Academy, Birmingham 21/03/14