One hundred days on from the Manchester Arena Attack, which tragically took the lives of many music fans, the Ruby Lounge plays host to a band who epitomise the comeback music in this city has made.

Since the bombing, gigs and live music events have continued without issue and show a defiance needed to combat the terror threat. Deap Vally, our American cousins of blues and hard rock flavoured duality, gave the packed audience a night to remember.

Supported by the ever solid, the ever loud and forever talented PINS, they put on a preliminary set to wet the whistle and warm up the ears. It did indeed wet the whistle, their high energy songs and equally high energy personalities helped project an anthemic ability that a lot of bands never achieve or possess. In layman’s terms, they sounded fucking loud lad.

Their brand spanking release Bad Thing (2017) is the perfect tonic for the thirst that requires punk inspired indie, with an almost army like energy and sound that a lot of fellow 5 piece bands have yet to deliver. Songs such as ‘All Hail’ and ‘Aggrophobe’ (feat. Iggy Pop) are definite essentials by PINS for your late year playlist.

After the amazing performance from PINS, I was starting to worry whether Deap Vally could match the local talent. I’ve seen the duo on television and heard their songs on radio and adverts, but if I’m honest, I was never truly blown away. For me, they were like Band of Skulls, but more blocky and less exciting. Tonight however, from the very get go, the female two piece smashed this nonsense from my head, right down into my body and eventually out my arsehole, to be looked at with squirming faces by everyone around.

Starting with songs I recognised but could not put a name to, I was immediately impressed. They reminded me of Royal Blood in the way these mammoth riffs sounded like they came straight from the classic guitar riff handbook, but in bass form. Nonetheless, the bassy qualities Lindsey Troy presents were earth shattering to say the least, and shook my diaphragm to within an inch of its life.

Deap Vally

Throughout the high energy, no fucks given set, both Troy and Julie Edwards were on top form, delivering loud, heavy, somewhat easy listening, but definitely rocking tunes. I feel like a shit journalist because for the life of me, I can’t remember a single song name nor have I bothered to look it up. But in a way, that was the beauty of this gig. I didn’t need to know the set list before hand, I didn’t need to listen to their records again, I didn’t need to look at videos of recent shows. This unprofessional or ill informed approach made it fresh and exciting. I guarantee if I had fully familiarised myself with this band before the show, I would have walked in with negative preconceptions and a jilted frame of mind. I will say however, they blew my fucking socks off, and I’m glad they changed my opinion.

Standing at the back, it gave me a fantastic opportunity to observe the reactions of DV fans and general music lovers. To be honest, again down to my semi-lingering preconceptions, I didn’t think there would be as many people. I’ve only been Ruby Lounge twice and both of those previous trips are blurry and unmemorable. Maybe because of this, I wasn’t aware of the popularity this venue has with locals. One of the best actions of the night which I think helped this was when Troy unarmed herself and floated atop the crowd. Different to a swan, instead of gliding on a sun stroked lake or calm waters, it was an estuary of sweat, bevvy and most significantly, screaming, half pissed Mancunians. It was great stuff.

They seem to me one of those bands you HAVE to see live in order to appreciate. I think the production on their previous records and songs such as ‘Smile More’ and ‘Baby I Call Hell’ left me feeling a bit flat and unpunched. Live however, it’s a whole different bowl of wax. Groove-laden, brooding and hard and heavy, cuts from their latest record Femejism (2016) presented the Manc contingent a night to remember for good reasons. On a day and night which could have easily been soaked in the negatives of truly horrific events, Manchester showed its true colours by arrogantly tuning in to the sounds and triumphs good people of this planet can produce.

Thank you Deap Vally,

Yours, Connor Ryan

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Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC