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The destination is Northumbria University, I am taking in the impressive grounds surrounding the student union hall where tonight accommodates for the band White Denim from Austin Texas who is currently on a UK tour. Less than a year after their last album ‘Performance’,  White Denim are back with their ninth record Side Effects. As I stood within the Hall amongst a crowd that must have been near sold out, I was expecting to surrounded by a much younger collective, but no, it was right across the board age-wise. Always a good sign for a band who began just over thirteen years ago. A well-deserved mention at this point must go out to the fantastic BC Camplight (Brian Christinzio) who had warmed up the crowd to a muster culminating with their final song and latest release ‘I’m Desperate.’

White Denim enter – their walk-in the track ‘Darude – Sandstorm’ all members have huge smiles take to the stage; lead singer James Petralli takes the spotlight he signals to his three other band members and immediately the sound blasts from the speakers ripping through you like a tornado.

I was up close and personal, a bit too close so after a couple of numbers I made the decision to stand further back, this band is a rock and roll band –  they play like a stadium rock and band, full and loud!

The band have gone through some changes since first forming in 2005, we still have founding member and the memorizing bass player Steve Terebecki with new guns in the shape of Gregory Clifford (drums) And Michael Hunter (keyboards).

Performed were tracks old and new, from the nine albums they have made including the critically acclaimed “D.”  The crowd was in full swing at ‘Hahahaha (yeah)’ from their 2016 release “Stiff.” 

Stand out tracks of the night also include ‘Magazin’ from their last album  – 2018’s ‘Performance’ and new tracks from the eagerly awaited ‘Side Effects’ due out next month. Petralli apologising in a tiny track break explaining he was not well but yet, the band are relentless in sound, as one track ends bang, you are straight into the next. A great show, it seems the recent label move to City Slang has seen the band go back to their earlier sound.

Listening to White Denim is like wine tasting, you get notes/hints of many flavours and smells, with their jazzy jams and full on experimentation. We were treated to psychedelic funk, layered in R and B’s wrapped up soul with a topping of progressive rock delivered with the complexity of Donald Fagan Steely Dan and as for James Petralli falsetto and sublime Intense guitar loops.  Kudos to Clifford who barely stopped banging throughout the whole show.  

There are not many true, original rock bands that are currently coming out of the USA at present, White Denim is one of them. If you fancy quaffing a full-bodied red wine then I recommend you try to see them as they are currently on a UK tour, you’ll not be disappointed as you get plenty of bang for ya buck!

Reviewer – Carmichael – THE SLABCITY SHOW

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