by Joss Worthington
It’s been a busy weekend for music festivals in Manchester. Hungry Pigeon has been and gone, Euro Cultured is still ongoing. Dot to Dot Festival’s placement on the Bank Holiday Monday is perhaps not ideal but Oxford Road is a buzz with people nevertheless. The bulk of today’s acts will perform at the Academy venues, but there are also some intriguing and lesser known acts lined up at both the Deaf Institute and FAC251.
These days, I feel like deciding what bands to go and see at a festival is lot like going to the races. You study the form beforehand and pick out the odds on favourites.
You hear rumours of potential dark horses and agonise on whether to take a chance on them or not. But I always find that the real fun is taking a chance on a wildcard. Just pick out something because you like the look or the name of it.
Today I decide to take a chance at The Deaf Institute on De Staat. I’ve got to admit it was the name that intrigued me to begin with. Probably because I didn’t have a bloody clue what it actually meant. I was guessing that it was possibly German or Flemish in origin. The day had begun with Lunar Youth, an indie pop act were relatively inoffensive but not particularly interesting either.
At this stage I was in desperate need of somebody to blast away my Bank Holiday hangover blues and thankfully De Staat were able to provide the cure. Hailing from Nijmegen, Holland, this 5 piece work up the crowd with a blistering set of songs aided and abetted by some seriously sleazy blues riffs.
Lead Singer Torre Florim churns out riffs like Josh Homme and spits out lyrics like Nick Cave, staring intensely into the audience and demanding their full attention. The rest of the band hit it just as hard as their front man, backing him up on vocals like a raucous gospel choir on crack.
The band is tight as hell. So much so, that on Sleep Tight the drummer is able to play the drums whilst drinking a beer without missing a beat. We are treated to a half hour set of songs taken from their album Wait For Evolution.
The 2 set closers are the standout tracks. The Fantastic Journey of the Underground Man has a dirty and infectious groove apparently inspired by the sleazy goings on at a disco in their hometown of Nijmegen.
Wait For Evolution brings the intensity to the max and receives rapturous applause from the small but perfectly formed audience. Already a successful band in their native Holland, De Staat’s forthcoming appearance at Glastonbury may see their stock rise in the UK too.