A few years back I was reading an article about this up and coming artist called Darwin Deez; a 20 something hipster living in New York, working in a well respected vegetarian restaurant making lo-fi pop hits with jazzy guitar tones, quirky vocal hooks and jittery electro beats. Intriguing, right? Shortly after reading, I listened to Radar Detector, Darwin’s biggest hit to date, and I was immediately hooked, a wonderful little love song that seemed to capture the hearts of indie kids everywhere. In 2010, he officially released his self titled debut album which very much summed up the thoughts of a young man living in the city, and in spite of its instant hooks, lyrically it dealt with themes of loneliness and heartache. Luckily, three years on and Darwin  seems to have cheered up somewhat, having relocated to his home state of North Carolina after a mammoth world tour in support of his debut, his second album ‘Songs For The Imaginative People’ is more assured in its lyrics and confident in its delivery.

But anyway, down the show. Darwin is in the UK this week as the album dropped on Monday and is here to play a string of more low-key venues, and tonight we’re at one of Manchester’s newer venues ‘Sound Control’. It’s a Friday night, the show is sold out and everyone seems to be having that Friday feeling, me in particular, after a hard slog of a day, I am more than ready to put my dancing shoes on and sing my heart out.

The show beings with a little American dude jumping onto the stage acting as the hype man shouting “how y’all feeling? Make some noise for the Deez!”, to which Darwin and his super cool looking backing band, enter the stage in a line, with fist’s in the air and a riffy, rock song pumping out of the speakers as they nod their heads in unison. The band then launch in to breezy, upbeat indie pop of new album track ‘You Can’t Be My Girl’ which is a strong opening as its super catchy and makes everyone bob their heads in delight. After a quick hello, we are treated to the 80’s groove of ‘Moonlit’ which is very much a highlight of the new record for me and the crowd seem to be getting into the groove even more as each second rolls by.

If there’s one thing that makes a Darwin Deez show so unique is the band’s interspersing their set with quirky little dance routines and tonight we get plenty of them, sending the crowd into a frenzy of screams and clapping as their backing music mashes up crazy rock songs with classic 80’s soul pop and recent R’n’B hits. As the new album is only a few days old to a lot of the people here tonight, Deez and Co bring out the sing-along’s with a nice portion of first album tracks, particular highlights include the album’s big choruses such as ‘DNA’ and of course, ‘Radar Detector’ as well as The Beatles meets The Strokes guitar pop of ‘The Suicide Song’.

The main set closes with the big ballad-like moment from the new record, ‘Redshift’, which is an epic closing as Darwin brings out a shredding guitar solo. After rapturous applause, the band re-enter the stage, do a quick dance, thank the crowd for being so ‘animated’ and finish up with new song ‘(800) Human’ and the excellent ‘Bad Day’ which leaves the crowd with huge smiles of their faces. An absolutey delightful show! Need pepping up? Go see Darwin Deez live!

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.