Dirty Thrills have been on my radar for a couple of years now after a friend insisted I caught them live in Camden. I was immediately drawn to this heavy, bluesy rock band following their electrifying set. It’s the second time they’ve been in my neck of the woods this year, firstly supporting the mighty Crobot in Birmingham in June. With a self titled album and three E.P’s under their belt, these guys are gaining fans at tremendous speed.
Also, a new venue for me to check out (insert smiley face here). The Station is a new live music and alternative nightclub, something this area has been crying out for. They aim to put the live music scene back on the map and with hearing so many stories of live venues being forced to close in recent times, this was music to my ears! As I head up the stairs I’m greeted by this awesome mural of Slash, I love it already.
First up are West Midlands based Almost Easy. A popular band on the local scene it seems, as they have drawn in a reasonable sized crowd. They waste no time launching into their first track of the night producing an out and out hard rock sound. Front man David Saunders (vocals/guitar) slays his vocals whilst thrashing his guitar. The crowd are at the barrier singing along and punching fists into the air. An energetic set to say the least, but I’m hard pushed to take my eyes off drummer Jack Bloor, the guy’s insane! He unleashes a force on his kit at breakneck speed that creates an almighty yet tightly performed sound, and I’m always gonna be a sucker for a drummer that rises to his feet on occasion to deliver that dynamism. They power through their set announcing each track and engaging in some good banter with their regular crowd. ‘Devil queen’ stood out for me, pure rock n’ roll followed by ‘Mystic Girl’ another crowd pleaser. Guitarist Adam Saunders pulls off some filthy riffs and complements David’s voice with an almost punk element to his backing vocals. Jack Watkins on bass cool as, adding a sludgy, grungy influence to their set.
David leaves the stage then and I’m thinking there’s a problem, no. After a minute or two he saunters back from the bar with beers in hand. We’re treated to a new track then followed by ‘What’s in the Box’ a catchy little number that has everyone singing along. David then encourages the crowd to dance to ‘You Win Some, You Lose Some’ and they enthusiastically oblige, he knows how to work the crowd, the place is jumping. Jack looks as though he is bleeding pretty bad, hardly surprising witnessing his ferocious drumming, his turn now to step off stage as we’re introduced to Brad – the drummer from Piston and all hell breaks loose as they thrash out some AC/DC. Jack is back on the kit again and then probably my favourite track of the night ‘Lost’ is performed. Probably the heaviest rock song of the night, it was punchy as hell.
Set almost over and yet another person steps on stage this time taking David’s guitar allowing him to strip off his shirt, grab the mic and launch onto the barrier giving a balls out cover of ‘Paranoid.’ This band go down a storm, a full on rock set solidly performed. The only down side for me was the lack of flow. Jumping off stage to grab beers at the bar mid set is okay if you’re playing your local pub that puts on the odd live band. But in a music venue at a ticketed event, it came across a little arrogant and disheveled.
Headliners Dirty Thrills are up next, with a style and sass all of their own. Louis James (vocals) swaggers onto stage and belts out a high and prolonged vocal that sends shivers down your spine. You can hear a pin drop and I glance round to see mouths open and “wows” being said, yep we’re in for one hell of a set. Kicking off with new track ‘I’ll be with you’ the guys attack the stage with Jack Fawdry’s classic, gritty riffs resonating around the room. Aaron Plows throws in his slick, bluesy bass tones and Steve Corrigan grinning from ear to ear, pounds the drums in abandon creating the Dirty Thrills signature sound.
‘Reign’ from their self titled first album gets feet tapping, heads nodding and girls dancing. Louis performing with all the sex appeal of a young Jim Morrison and strapping vocals that are to die for. Throwing himself around the stage with an intense passion and groove he manages to break the mic stand and probably a few hearts in the room. Personal favourite ‘The Man who lost his way’ has a more heavier rock feel where Aaron and Jack integrate perfectly providing a funk vibe, you just cannot keep still at one of their gigs. ‘Feeling’ from their EP Sweetheart of the Slums, has Jack stomping around stage producing filthy riffs and also some incredible backing vocals that really stood out for me tonight.
The set continues with another new song ‘Rabbit Hole’ which just proves Dirty Thrills are upping their game at every stage of their career, sublime! Continuing with ‘No Resolve’ this is probably their bluesiest tune to date laden with slower muddy bass tones, Aaron arches his back and plays as if his life depends on it, Louis fierce vocals become all consuming and arousing, Steve pummels the drums, Jack slays his riffs and phew, it’s getting hot in here!
Songs old and new are thrashed out, the band working in complete harmony with one another, the connection is prolific and the guys clearly enjoy what they do. Entertaining us with a full on set for over an hour, ‘Shivers’, ‘Follow me Home’ and ‘Sigh’ bring this seductive, heavy blues, rock show to an end. Playing so far away from their hometown they have pulled in a good sized crowd and they are met with rapturous applause. After shouts for more they head back on stage and nail it to the wall with the filthy ‘Rock n’ Roll’ more ferocious applause ensues and four sweaty, happy guys head to the merch table. I manage to grab some hugs and their signed new E.P Devil’s Wine. Many new fans have been gained tonight judging by the queue forming there.
You can still catch the guys on tour at The Diamond, Doncaster – 27.10.16, The Live Room, Manchester – 28.10.16, Sin City, Swansea – 29.10.16, The Rolleston Arms, Swindon – 02.11.16 and their end of tour show at The Big Red, London – 03.11.16
Almost Easy: facebook