Dexters at The Garage
Formed in 2011, east London indie outfit Dexters are currently touring their recently released debut album, Shimmer Gold. After hearing some positive purr from their growing fanbase, we thought it wise to visit Islington’s The Garage and check out their final UK date before they scurry east to support The Rifles in Germany.
Upon entering the venue a nostalgic reflection washes over us. Countless skinny-jeaned legs, crash helmet-shaped hairstyles and clean-cut jawlines poke out of every crowd orifice. We have walked back into 2006 and the pomp of British indie rock. Memories of The Courteeners, The Enemy and The View aggressively push their way to the front of our minds, as equally boisterous young folk bump through to get close to the stage. The atmosphere is fierce and alive with energy.
Dexters, whose music shares much with the aforementioned bands, enter the stage hidden behind a wall of artificial smoke. The band, still concealed, crack the chords of their opening track Cloudfest through the darkness and signal the start of a mesmeric light show. Instantly the audience’s palpable anticipation converts into a barrage of lustful screams and cheers.
Driven by frontman Tom Rowlett and his belligerent “up yours” attitude, the first five tracks of the night flash by, delivered with abundant indignation but little substance. Repetitive chords and formulaic song structure contradict their anarchic intentions and leave us somewhat unsatisfied.
Dexters’ inexhaustible vim carries them through and alights the room once more as they deliver the album’s lead single Recover; another anthemic romp with a considerably stronger narrative spine than its predecessors. Start to Run, the best song and highlight of the night, confirms the bands rebellious character, with Rowlett’s strong gutsy vocals delivering the lyrics: “Let’s bend, break these rules we abide tonight.”
Dexters’ brand of confrontational, albeit slightly shallow, indie rock fails to deliver any real surprises – but being seminal isn’t the only measure of success. As Rowlett confrontationally stands at the edge of the stage and screams “you’re still with us then?” the crowd’s rapturous response is evidence enough that demand is still high for brash guitar-led indie rock, and Dexters provide a wholesome supply.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information about Dexters and future events see here.
Watch the video for Recover here: