Darling at the Sugar Club – Review
There’s a perfect indie mist rising in the Sugar Club. White neon lights, glam rock Dr. Feelgood and red velvet complete the scene as Dublin duo Darling meet their audience. Sneaking onstage, straight into the dark undercurrent of “Screaming Bloody Murder.” Flashes of Echo and The Bunnymen menacing bass lines of isolation and a faint whiff of The Killers “Jenny Was A Friend of Mine”.
They lash through their set with conviction and confidence. No apparent nerves considering this is kinda their big night. They’ve filled their largest venue to date with willing punters. Darling’s songs are well crafted melodramas. Layered in slightly gritty powered up guitars, tightly wrapped and punctuated with oversized pop hooks.
Every track delivers live. Their newborn EP “Darling II” was released on Friday January 30th and shot straight to Number 1 in Ireland. “Just One Look” is the single, a bubble gum pop tart with Mock Turtles repetitive bass loops that wiggle in your brain. Not bad for a second EP. Mind you the first one was a sparkler as well. The anthemic “Sail Away” is familiar to most in the room, the urban styled council estate video enhancing the integrity of the story. Honestly, it’s beyond perfect for two guys in the infancy of their music careers. Huge commercial potential explodes when “Life Is What You Make Of It” is played – pop infused, fast paced loud and layered track that’s very Vaccines in the middle. Cool and clever drums increase the speed to equal the rushing visuals. Destined for the XFM playlist.
There’s homage to the eighties with “Echoes”, splendid with Ultravox and Depeche demons in exaggerated, enduring riffs. The full fat live version is intense and dramatic. A lighter nod to pop presarios Erasure starts with the opening phrases of “2001”. Impressive Jimmy Somerville style spiralling vocals from Gary, polished and produced by Stephen Lipson (he of Pet Shop Boys fame) sends the popsters home happy.
Darling are a rare indie diamond with massive commercial potential, the talent to back it up and the ambition to push it all the way. They will soon be sharing stages with the likes of Muse, Imagine Dragons and The Libertines. That’s if Pete can hold it together…
Review by Ciara Sheahan