Following a triumphant year of critical acclaim and rising profile, undoubtedly capped by topping the Tidal Wave of Indifference’s Album of the Year list, Bradford Cox has brought Deerhunter back to Scotland for a rammed Oran Mor show.
In tow are Baltimore’s Lower Dens, a typically oddball act with colorfully named songs like A Dog’s Dick and Two Cocks. They’re an appropriate support band though, and litter their set with droney guitars, effects pedal workouts and minimal, breathy vocals.
They’re fronted by Jana Hunter, a mere slip of a girl, who my daughter could probably take in a fight, and could be worthy of further investigation even if tonight’s sound is a bit muddy.
It takes Deerhunter a while to get going. They open with a song allegedly written in soundcheck (meh) and even the mighty Desire Lines underwhelms until it hits the spiralling, hypnotic guitar that makes up its lengthy outro.
But it’s at these moments when Deerhunter are at their best – freewheeling, distorted guitar jams that stop short of pretension. Nothing Ever Happened from Microcastle is particularly epic, with Cox screeching lines from Patti Smith’s Land towards the end.
More than 10 minutes long live, it sets heads nodding universally, as does main set closer He Would Have Laughed, allowing the band to stretch their musical legs.
With ‘single’ Helicopter already having been stripped of its gentle electronics and turned into a thundering beast of a tune, they return with a similarly heavy Cover Me and round things off with 15 minutes of feedback – a little self indulgent and unnecessary under the circumstances when the crowd would probably have liked another ‘proper’ song added to a fairly short set.
Minor quibbles aside, tonight Deerhunter went some way to justifying their live reputation.