I don’t know if it’s the latest craze sweeping through America or whether or not I’ve been blind to this particular musical under current, but at the moment there seems to be a hell of a lot of rock bands coming from our American counterparts where bands are either all female, or the female takes the lead in terms of singer/guitarist. Not only that, but they all possess a great deal of cut loose ability and a god given will to rock out, being more talented and enigmatic than most male bands in some cases. ‘Those Darlins’ are no exception to that rule. The male influence sits in the support section of bass and drums, giving licence to the two women who both sing and play with all the confidence and rawness I now come to expect when I see rock chicks take to the stage front.
With many bands on the bill at The Ruby Lounge on a Tuesday evening, the show started earlier than usual with two new bands opening. The first, ‘White Vinyl’, are a concoction from the heavier side of rock. Still a bit green, but there was enough to suggest that they could develop a devout following in the future. Tight jeans, leather jackets, rocker haircuts and rugged, stubbled faces make up this five piece and with a front man beaming with confidence, and some great rock guitar riffs written, then the foot tapping that the early birds adopted could soon turn into a barrage of fist punching frenzy in the future.
‘Tall For Jockeys’ followed, another new band. Again they went down the heavier side of rock but I felt their strength showed when they slowed things down, as they did on a couple of numbers. There were some delectable riffs that they conjured up in between the full throttle, all guns blazing approach. Whether or not it was the acoustics in the venue, the loud thrashing and screaming didn’t come across too well, and somewhere along the way, words and melodies became swallowed up by sheer volume.
‘The Calimocho Club’s’ performance was one to saviour. A fantastic rendition in classic guitar play that was highly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix in sound and style. Even more impressive was the voice of lead singer, Gary Calimocho, who sounded similar to Dan Auerbach from ‘The Black Keys’ in terms of bluesy range and passion. Add into that an influence of old style blues like John Lee Hooker and you don’t get a bad combination at all. Being a two piece band, similarities to ‘Black Keys’ are apparent but with a Hendrix style wiry guitar they gave one hell of an original rhythm and blues eye catching performance. A fantastic Salford based band with superb guitar and drumming on offer that can only see their star shine brighter.
Finally, the much anticipated ‘Those Darlins’ took to the stage, an intriguing band amid the huge hype and fan base they’ve acquired in America. Unlike other female dominated bands, like ‘Screaming Females’ and ‘Wild Flag’, they’re not as fiery or guitar solo orientated as these bands, but certainly edgy, scary and passionate in their own right. Certain songs created an intense look from lead singer, Jessi Darlin, eyes looking possessed and spaced out on some psychedelic haunt that freaked the watching crowd as she almost dissolves into the audience when she approaches the front of the stage. Predominately, their sound is that of country punk/garage rock, a captivating sound with flashes of psychedelia that develops from the famous American southern sound. Like ‘Wild Flag’, the two guitarists, Jessi and Nikki interchange the limelight, bouncing off each other’s energy and share the vocals and lead. Both voices have a strong, punky, teenage kicks feel and with that and their show antics, the show has quite a vibrant, sexy feel, especially when they play off each other. Their connection with the audience is paramount to their show. At one point, drummer and song writer Linwood Regensburg wants the lights switched round so they are in the dark and we are in the light, a ploy so they can see exactly who is rocking to their tunes, and to convert the ones that aren’t into firm believers with a further physical battering of garage rock.
With the show coming shortly after their second album release, ‘Screws Get Loose’, the set consisted of playing a number of songs off this album, focussed around life on the road and all the highs and pitfalls that go with that, with some quirky and amusing lyrics thrown into the mix. The tour they are embarking on is extensive, playing regularly for three months through Europe and ending back in the United States. Maybe the third album will be written under these circumstances and the new experiences the tour brings. All in all, yet another successful female orientated band from The States that have made the move to conquer Europe. America! Keep em coming!
To view a previous interview with the band before they embarked on their European tour click hereReview by Nigel Cartner