White Denim – live review

White Denim
London King’s College Student Union

Why aren’t White Denim the biggest rock band on the planet? Tonight at KCSU you get the feeling this must be what it was like catching Zeppelin or Sabbath live in their prime; I haven’t seen the members of a band this intuitively tuned in to each other since Nirvana.

With three albums under their belts and a fourth on its way, these scrawny but musically muscle-bound Texans treat us to a feast of psych-blues-power-rock that sees singing guitarist James Petralli lost in waves of distortion-drenched bliss, his rich voice soaring as his instrument fuses thrillingly with those of bespectacled bassist Steve Terebecki and recently acquired second guitarist Austin Jenkins, who locks into the dirty freak-out groove of All Consolation and new song Anvil Everything with an effortless exuberance that would suggest – if you didn’t know better – that he’d been in the band for years.
On the funkier I Start To Run, drummer Joshua Block showcases the kind of tight-but-loose rhythms that define White Denim’s sound; lean and rolling and hinting at a jazz-like fluidity.

The band don’t say much as the crowd abandons itself to the music, but James allows himself a wry grin as an ecstatic girl fan surfs the front rows and blows a kiss towards him, mid wah-wah-soaked six-string freak-out.

White Denim might not be household names yet, but as far as tonight’s crowd is concerned they are legends.

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