Demure – Staines Hobgoblin, March 21

If a maverick fez wearing buffoon maven is lurking in your waking dreams, threatening to whack a pair of rumba shakers up your kilt then you’re probably being persecuted by the songs of Demure.

Yes, those brave post-grunge pilgrims were playing the Hob, Staines again last weekend, with an increasingly enthusiastic crowd egging them on.   And those powerful songs that they play tend to dig deep troughs into the metaphysical mind and fiddle around in those darker recesses  of your  consciousness.

Demure have clearly been standing on the bar (rather than leaning against it)  in recent months and the ‘new’ guitarist they have broken in- Tekin Mustafa- allows the front-man lead vocalist Johnny B  some welcome release –  ensuring that he is now able to provide fire, urgency and gravitas to the overall performance,  and securing the visual presence of the band. The extra band member also allows Philip Price (lead guitar)  the time and space he needs to play a source of inspirational lead melodies and the polished breaks we are used to,  pushing the sound of the group towards the skyline.

Whilst not down playing the general strength of character and heartfelt nature of the Demure songs, there is also a sense of sly fun with these boys – even in their darkest passages and gloomiest moments.  And this sense of fun combined with a commitment to create strong and beautifully arranged pieces,  forms the basis for their work.

The band turned out a couple of strong new songs on the night.  ‘You me and everyone else’  had a venetian style string overture to it,  followed by a see-sawing crisis of rhythms and the chrysalis of some folk sounds.  Then thin slices of guitar garnished the chords, and the echoing vocals lead on towards an amalgam of funky moments.  This was an histrionic ape-dance of a song and  a bit of a departure  from the  dramatic,  thoughtful  grunge of Demure’s earlier works.

Demure can be relied upon to play a damn solid show with rollicking roll-out rock and touches of old-water gator-skin grunge.  Tremendously exciting and hugely professional  (just listen to those unsettling military style drums by Neil Rawles on ‘You Say’ or the shimmering guitars of Philip on ‘1 Vision’. )  This enjoyable band showed  that they  possess  the  ability to consistently grow musically and also prosper in the business.

More genuine than a cockney sparrow and more alive than a mamba down the Y-fronts,  this edgy band is a fun passport to a post-grunge hay-ride.

© Neil_Mach
March 2010


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