Touring off the back of their seventh release, Stiff, White Denim played the ABC1 in Glasgow on Wednesday 5th October. Despite their success with this album, the atmosphere was flat, and the stage presence lacking. With sound that did not seem to improve until the point at which we opted to leave, it was a shame to witness this band play to a crowd that did not seem engaged.
White Denim is an American four-piece rock band from Austin, Texas, and are influenced by dub, psychedelic rock, blues, punk rock, progressive rock, soul, jazz, experimental rock with home-based recording, jamming approach, intense looping work and unusual song structures. Signed to Downtown Records, they recently released new record Stiff, and have been touring across the UK, finishing up at London’s Roundhouse on 11th October.
Unfortunately playing to a venue only about two thirds full the vibe was lacking, and there was obviousness about the fact that White Denim used to be two separate bands, as there appears to be an odd divide on stage. With fantastic popish elements to the band that screams geeks, University Challenge and Scott Pilgrim, it’s clear that the band is originally from the other side of the Atlantic. With a bass that’s too loud in comparison to the rest of the instruments it was difficult to observe the more varied facets of the band. In fact it was difficult to imagine from this performance that this band had received the acclaim of being best new band at the 2008 Austin Music Awards.
A standard American four-piece and clearly a talented band if we consider all that has been previously been said about them. However, for a band trying to inject a whole lotta soul into what seemed like a soulless crowd, they were unsuccessful. It’s very rare that I will actually leave a gig early but on this occasion it was sadly the case. A band you would love to love, as you can sense the virtuosity; it was disappointing that there were only a couple of tracks performed that really shook this horde into a case of the jives.