Darling at Whelan’s – Review
Darling are an intriguing act. They’re most definitely unique with great hair and an air of coolness to both their style and stage presence. As they took to the stage in a quite packed and noisy Whelan’s, they went straight for it, with the quality of lead singer Gary’s vocals immediately coming to the fore as they opened the set. Having seen them live previously in Whelan’s and also at Indiependence last year, their sets are always clean-cut and perfected. In this instance they also came out with no hints of nerves to be seen, with each unique track having its own stamp of quality in a live setting.
‘It’s Just One Look’ is a pop-tastic little gem whose chorus will niggle away in your head all day. It delivers so well live, especially for a building instrumental with spiralling guitars and drums that build in the right places when needed. ‘Screaming Bloody Murder’ is more of a darker number. It’s encased in an array of apt light sequences and haunting bass lines that creep out of steady electro-guitar progressions to stand alone and be appreciated.
‘Tappy’ takes it down a notch in tempo but certainly not in talent. It’s a perfectly crafted arrangement with catchy lyrics that’s a definite crowd pleaser. For the first time there’s also a slight tinge of Gary’s accent coming through the vocals, and the rawness and quality this band have to offer becomes evident to listeners. Serving as a gentle nod to the 80’s era, ‘Echoes’ is always a favourite. With some synth sounding effects being joined by striking guitar riffs, it’s one of those tracks for having a good ‘ol sing song and little boogie.
“Life is what you make of it, when most of us are faking it” rings out around the venue, and these meaningful lyrics strike a chord when thinking about daily life and how most will put on a facade in some form for the outside world. It’s followed by ‘Sail Away’, a belter that’s known by many, with cheers erupting as James set off in a frenzy of impressive chord switches for the instantly recognisable intro. They chose ‘2001’ to bring up the end of the set, stamped with repetitive keyboard chords and clever drums that piece in nicely with the vocal range offerings and guitars that spiral down for a closing outro.
With their abilities to create quality tracks with a live appeal, Darling will keep going up and up until they reach the top, so hop on over to iTunes for their downloads and join the party.
Review by Nicole Leggett
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