Tonight is 4 bands for just a fiver (£5), and I thought the curry and a pint for £6 at Wetherspoons was good value for money.
Time constraints meant Darwin and the Dinosaur and Temple Grounds had been and gone by the time I got to the Waterfront Studio in Norwich, but from some of the feedback I got, both could be well worth investigating in the future.
Tonight is the launch party for Deer’s latest EP3, the 3rd of 4 Deers EP’s to be released over a year, helpfully named after colours (this one is Orange). So far each EP has seen the band growing in confidence and diversity, but before they play first up tonight is….
Singer Dan handles vocals / guitar and additional keyboards, all with the effortless manual dexterity of my nan cooking the sunday roast. My fav song is Foreign language with it’s infectious cheese wire keyboard riff, something The Proclaimers would write if they spent a week living with Dinosaur Jr.
For a young band with energy there is also an underlined warm melancholy to their music and Ben’s brass accompaniment to Underground Husbands (possibly a song about miners, but I am probably wrong) adds a ‘colliery band’ authenticity to the track. Somehow a sad song that makes you feel happy. Their set whizzes by in a flash and I’m left wanting more, definitely a band to look out for.
Am not sure if it was a skateboarding accident, or if he trapped it in the revolving door in the Norwich branch of Morrisons (incidentally the slowest revolving door in history), but Deers vocalist/guitarist Nicky Rafis (below left) has broken his arm, so Alan from support band Darwin and the Dinosaurs heroically steps in tonight to perform his usual guitar duties.
With 6 people on the small stage there’s not much space, and one wrong move could end with (at best), pulling your guitar lead out, and at worst, ensnaring the entire band (and possibly audience too), in a trap of wires, pedals and keyboards.
Somehow though Nicky manages to bounce in ‘n out of the band and crowd, arm in cast under his shirt while the rest of Deers stand their ground. He reminds me of the Black Knight in the movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, and I half expect him to start shouting “Come back here and I’ll bite your legs off!”
Over the course of their 3EP’s to date, Deers have shown a talent for diversity (not to be confused with X-factor band of same name), from the brooding atmospheric three-way split vocals on Sunday Best to new EP track Sleep. Recover with it’s hypnotic “sleep recover, sleep sleep recover” hook-line. Their songs are complex audiowebs that while sounding more raw live than on record, still keep their original subtleties.
The band are enjoying the attention and those people hardy enough to drag themselves away from Facebook on a cold night in November are rewarded with an exhilarating set, and a free copy of their EP too. Well worth the journey.
Both Deers and Olympians have the potential to take the next step up, at the moment they are medium size fish in a small pond but they’re growing bigger all the time.
You can hear and download all of their music online for free,
Deers Pic copyright © Theo Jones