The DLX at The Louisiana, Bristol – 15/03/2019

From left to right: Jack Pengelly (drums), Sam Trusson (vox & guitar), Ed Shakspeare (bass)

Rowdy, laddish, and full of music oozing indie hit potential, The DLX’s headline gig at The Louisiana on Friday night was a success from start to finish. Throughout the band’s whole set, singer / rhythm guitarist Sam Trusson was pinging back and forth in and out of the audience, clambering over the drum kit, and leaping off amps. Bassist Ed Shakspeare seemed to spend as much time on top of his amp as he did at the front of the stage. Their constant face-to-face playing and onstage interaction radiated a kind of brotherly love as the pair played the naughty schoolboys of the band. Will Eaves’s stage presence was moodier and more reserved as he kept to his sacred ‘lead guitarist corner’ churning out riffs, licks and solos with a tip of the hat to Keith Richards, Bernard Butler, and Richard Oakes, to name a few. Jack Pengelly’s drumming perfectly matched the rest of the band’s playing, delivering a fun, uncomplicated, but nicely varied element to the rhythm section. The music was loud and unapologetic, yet melodic and very catchy too.

The DLX opened their set with ‘Feel My Soul’, a song driven by Shakspeare’s busy bassline, and a subtle guitar part from Eaves. Trusson was already in the packed-out audience, singing in a shouty drawl that suited his manic aesthetic. The singer had chosen to begin the set without his guitar, but hopped back on stage and slung his axe around him to fatten out the sound for the song’s ending. The band then moved on to their most recent release, ‘How Ya Feelin’?’. This track was noisy and feisty, combining the spirit of anthemic Britpop with garage rock elements. The audience was going wild, with plenty of dancing and jumping around. Pengelly’s drumming here stood out as very tight and lively, and Eaves’s guitar solo was equally impressive.

With a hypnotic, psychedelic opening, ‘Reputation’ was another highlight from The DLX’s set. The song had a summery, festival-suited feel, contrasting nicely with what had been played up until then. This was a favourite amongst the audience, with almost everyone merrily chanting, ‘DLX! DLX!’ between ‘Reputation’ and the following song, ‘G.H.S.’ The energy levels in the room surged to riotous, with a mosh pit forming at the front and people dancing so much that the floor was literally shaking. It was fitting that the next song was the band’s aptly-named first single, ‘Wild’. There was serious hit potential here, with the song’s playful call-and-response nature and dynamic bounces back and forth in the verses encouraging the audience to join in. The energy levels in the room stayed high till the end of the set, through an electrifying cover of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ to the closing song, ‘Wear The Crown’ . The band even played the naughty schoolboy card one last time with a past-curfew encore demanded by the booming cry of ‘One more song! One more song!’ that filled the room. From the grins on the band members’ faces as they came off stage, sweaty and exhausted from giving it their all, you could tell the band loved every second just as much as their crowd. 7.5/10

© Emily Engleheart

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