New Desert Blues at the Courtyard Theatre
Such is the plethora of venues in London at the moment that you can scarcely round a corner before crashing head first into a cellar containing some nondescript live act of one genre or another. Such was the case last night, as the Courtyard Theatre played host to New Desert Blues, an indie five-piece playing their first London date since the release of their debut long play, To Be My Own.
Air conditioning is a luxury afforded by a few, but it was certainly in desperate need last night, as the sweltering venue slowly filled with expectation. Thankfully moshing and thrashing weren’t on the menu in favour of a rather more mellow rock sound and ambiance. New Desert Blues wouldn’t be described as innovators, but what they do, they do well. Opening track Milk and Honey was a pleasant, energetic start and the band seemed to settle down almost immediately. Helped by a superb sound system, a real luxury in the smaller venues, the band didn’t mess around, playing their album in its entirety from start to finish.
As the night progressed, the three-minute generic album fillers were replaced by the longer, melodic guitar heavy hits. Sound of Guns was a particular delight, with its anthemic closing riff seemingly filling every inch of the venue. They kept coming too, with Golden Coast and Dirt providing ample aural stimulation for the collective audience. Set closer My Master was the real highlight though, its power hinting at potential future success in a larger stadium setting
Bands like New Desert Blues can be puzzling – after all, the indie rock genre is so unbelievably saturated at the moment that the chance of breaking out and “making it” seem so unfathomably improbable. But that’s not to take anything away from this band, who showed last night that, when it’s played well, rock music can still provide so much enjoyment for those willing to listen.
Photo: Paul Hudson
For further information about New Desert Blues and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Rag and Bone here: