DIIV at Rough Trade East
One often wonders why bands make the long trip over from the United States to play in a record shop. After all, it seems like a significant effort for something that could just as easily be done at home. But then again, Rough Trade East is hardly just any old record shop, and last night it played host to DIIV (pronounced dive), who graced east London with their sonic presence in aid of their new record Is the Is Are.
Zachary Cole Smith et al were fairly nonchalant in their entrance, and seemed disappointed by the somewhat lukewarm response they received. It seemed to have some effect, as the opening track stumbled and shuffled its way over the audience. A light round of applause boosted the band’s spirits though, and follow-up Under the Sun was a much brighter and crisper effort, finally managing to get the audience moving. Well, bobbing. It was east London after all.
Dopamine and Incarnate Devil were entertaining, the New York based five-piece seeming increasingly settled in their humble surroundings with every passing track. Praise should be heaped upon Rough Trade as, though it may be a simple record shop, the sound was nothing short of excellent. Rarely will you find a richer bass in London.
Mire and Waste of Breath were darker and fuller – a somewhat welcome change, as DIIV can be somewhat myopic in their songwriting. Tracks seemed to blend into one another, and even the best-trained ear struggled to pick out where one song ended and the next began.
Boasting the kind of on-stage nonchalance that Pavement would be proud of, but without the songs to back it up, DIIV occasionally verged on the edge of arrogance – not a wise move with a notoriously fickle east London crowd. Overall the show was pleasant enough, and the band can take heart from selling out this iconic indie venue. Nonetheless, at the moment they are more “rough” than “diamond”, although there can be no doubt the potential is there.
Photos: Sophie Bluestone
For further information about DIIV and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Dopamine here: