- On 20th November, Ella Daniel-Lowe went down to one of White Denim’s sold out dates at The Village Underground, Shoreditch. Here’s what she thought…
With six albums under their belts, Texan four-piece White Denim aren’t doing too badly for themselves. Following the release and success of their most recent studio album Corsicana Lemonade they are currently touring the EU and later the US alongside fellow celestial psychedelics Tame Impala.
Packed to maximum capacity yet still pleasantly spacious, Village Underground played host to the band for two nights running, both of which sold out well in advance. The band’s eclectic mixture of blues-rock, psychedelia and jazz marked with a feisty Southern rawness filled the venue with an organic ease.
They cranked out a solid combination of excerpts from their new release and almost all of their better known tracks, much to the crowd’s delight. However, perhaps as a result of their extensive genre span, the crowd was somewhat less raucous than I had anticipated. For the majority of the crowd it appeared that White Denim were more a spectacle of technical prowess than something to go mad to. Although this is not to say that no one was dancing, one group nearby bounced around with pure excitement at the noisier tracks and howled along to the deeply soulful rendition of Street Joy.
Some songs were played at surprisingly fast tempo and there was barely a moment where no music could be heard. Almost the entire set was smoothly interlinked with impressive jams, sleekly showcasing the span of their musical repertoire and culminating in a celebratory ten minute long euphoric encore.
And the atmosphere of the music was certainly heightened by the space in which they were playing, Village Underground is undoubtedly one of the coolest London venues I have had the pleasure of visiting. Converted from an old disused viaduct in 2007; it consists of tunnels linking together to form one large room. The gloomy yet grandiose industrial architecture of the building instils an atmosphere of exclusivity and excitement- almost as if you’ve managed to sneak into a forgotten and restricted area of the city. Its size strikes a perfect synergy between intimacy and grandeur; large enough to stage a spectacular show, yet small enough to provide everybody there with a personal, engaging performance.
Following the success of their post-release tour, White Denim have just announced that they are returning to the UK for a second round of shows next May. I would highly recommend that any fan of Southern rock, blues or psychedelia snap up a ticket before they sell out again. You will not regret it.