Two bands tipped to make it big in 2014 arrive at Derby’s The Venue, play infront of a disappointingly small crowd and are upstaged by a local Kooks-tribute band.

Loom are touring in support of their Lice EP, which saw its official release yesterday (16th December). Continuing from debut single ‘I Get A Taste’, Lice furthers Loom’s delving into loud grunge-revival, without conforming to the genre’s clichés as so many of their contemporaries do. Darlia, on the other hand, have, in the words of vocalist Nathan, been on the road for five straight weeks. I’d imagine that Derby is one of the stranger moments of these five weeks.

Upon arrival at the venue, I find that the two bands I’d come to see and write about have been shoved down the bill and instead, tonight was to be headlined by local band House Of Thieves. All the same, Darlia make the most of the ten people paying attention to demonstrate just why people are tipping them as being capable of winding the clock back twenty years; this is hook-ridden, loud guitar music at its best. Final track ‘Queen Of Hearts’ has appeared in some Best of 2013 lists with its intricate, almost jangly, verse riff and thunderous chorus. Think a Suede-Mudhoney amalgamation. Impressive.

Following a complete gear change, the five-piece that is Loom take to the stage. By now, we’re accustomed to lead singer Tarik Badwan entering the crowd, pushing people, singing in people’s personal spaces and thus inciting chaos. This tactic is used sparingly tonight, perhaps due to the height of the stage, or perhaps due to the complete lack of reaction of Derby’s locals. Regardless, Loom play loud, fast and great.

Switching between the punky ‘I Get A Taste’, the grungey ‘Bleed On Me’ and the eerier ‘Acid King City’, Loom display all the weapons in their arsenal and are well on the way to becoming THE band to watch in 2014. I can assure you that those that were paying attention were treated to something quite special; a band on an ever-upward trajectory.

When House Of Thieves take to the stage, The Venue suddenly sees a surge of people to the front. Four songs in, and it’s clear that the night peaked at Loom. House Of Thieves have studied every paragraph in the indie textbook and therefore make a bland attempt at jangly, witty C86 guitar pop. The Kooks, anyone? I leave for the comfort of the coach back home.

Alex Neely

[Photo by Rory Van Millingen]

…Alex is listening to Pavement – ‘Summer Babe (Winter Version)’…

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