Dead letter | Fake tan | Priestgate
The Social, London
February 1, 2022
New bands playing in smaller venues as part of Indie Venue Week will always be visited by those looking for great new music. Keith Goldhanger ventures into town to see Deadletter, of whom he has high expectations, and receives even more entertainment than he bargained for.
It’s Independent Venue week and what better than a visit to one of the smallest venues in town to see the band responsible for a man’s favorite show the year before (dead letter) and maybe hang around to see what else is on offer during the evening.
We had seen Deep tan a few times already and it’s always great to see this trio provide us with a set of songs that no other band on the live circuit can match right now. Each song is built around a throbbing bass line (like PIL), intimidating vocals with minimalist guitar that goes back further than the 80s influenced music that reminds us a lot of today. Deep Tan is a welcome distraction from a lot of the loud, noisy stuff we witness every time we enter these small rooms in 2022.
There’s nothing wrong with being rowdy of course. Priestgate, a band we know little about at the moment are given the task of ending the evening entertainment and was a fabulous reward for those of us hungry for new big bands who will no doubt be returning a few times before the end of the season. ‘year. This lot sits a few miles north of Hull and looks like more aggressive versions of The Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen when they first appeared in equally small rooms to entertain those who were cool enough back home. era to know the good places to go out. A white vest is shredded by the frontman after two songs and from then on his Pop, Goth music (before it was labeled “Goth”) recognizable and as compelling as anything we’ve seen recently. Priestgate is kind of like HTML without makeup or silly clothes you might say. There is room for both. We’ll be back for more of this for sure, we say we walk back up to the street above where our new favorite band is still hanging out at the end of the night.
This trio of bands take turns headlining on the short six-date tour across the country. The Dead Letter opens proceedings tonight at eight o’clock in the morning and explodes into life as they arrive. It’s this six-bedroom that we mainly came to see and we wanted to make sure that the first visit was not a coincidence.
This was not the case.
Last year’s appearance at Cardiff’s (even smaller but equally important) Fuel room during the city’s Sŵn festival had some of us quivering with joy for hours after seeing them despite the fact that the show was sandwiched between bands that were already favorable to our ears Enola Gay, Lice, Ladybug and Cheap Teeth. The Deadletter tracks that are already available (see below) are going to be many people’s favorites as this year progresses and we imagine more than one of us will mention the show again. tonight in the company of others when there will be a rush for tickets to some of the biggest venues across the country for the same set of songs from the same group of people who have to provide the entertainment. It doesn’t feel like we’re trying too hard here when we start predicting a lot of people are going to love it.
Try to see them now and witness another great leader in the collection, a bass player who doubles vocals, a drummer who adds even more vocals when needed and hits the cowbell. A saxophone player adding more vocals and sometimes more percussion (nothing overplayed) keeps the momentum going. The twin guitars chop and change in much the same way the ones owned by The Gang of Four provided us with when we were young. The sarcastic aggression is there just as we remember having it with New Model Army before they started releasing records. Then, if you’re still taking notes, you can add a musical backing track similar to Adam & the Ants’ debut album with dance beats from The Rapture or LCD Soundsystem. Basically, it all translates to the soundtrack of a fistfight between Shame and Franz Ferdinand in today’s money. It’s a glorious racket to behold and if you think any of us might be trying too hard to convince you, at least check it out before you pull out that stick.
It’s the night like this that makes exploring towards the weekend much less difficult. The Social is just one of two reasons (the other being the 100 Club) why some of us bother to visit London’s West End these days, but it’s an important space that Concert goers should consider and visit from time to time. Without these small rooms, the large ones could not exist. It was in this room that Adele showed up on a Saturday afternoon to support Dan Le Sac against Scroobius Pip. Every little room will have stories like this. If you want to witness mind-blowing things when you least expect them, you have to take risks. These three bands and many more will appear a few more times in your local venues throughout the year if you keep paying attention and will provide as many memories, if not more, than those set in venues four deep. at the bar and big enough to lose your friends and cell phones.
Make it a New Year’s resolution to visit these places more often. We missed them very much as they stood empty for over a year. These places are important to everyone involved in music, whether they play, watch or anything in between.
Don’t just meet your friends at the pub. Meet them in the one with the bands playing in the back room, basement, or upstairs space and don’t think it matters who’s playing either. When you feel the thrill of a great catch, you’ll never forget it.
Tonight was a winner for the few dozen inside the small room tonight. That’s why some of us venture out on cold Tuesday nights in the middle of winter and that’s why the habit will continue but it needs the support of everyone involved in music. Whether it’s listening, playing, or somewhere in between, as someone said about thirty seconds ago.
Lyrics by Keith Goldhanger. Photos by Keira Anee. More of Keith’s writings on Louder Than War can be found in its author’s archives. You can also find Keith on Facebook and Twitter (@HIDEOUSWHEELINV).