DIVES Live – Joker – 22/1/2015


It was brilliant, fellow Northerners gracing the washy shores of Brighton, putting on and promoting their own live debut. A brave move by anybody’s measures, bold and formidable – a testimony to their set. Entering the Joker on this occasion was fairly daunting, sharply dressed folk lingered outside within a fog of Golden Virginia smoke, there was a sense that there was something apprehensive about the night which was going to point towards an event worthy of anybody’s presence. Upon venturing through the Willy Wonka-esque tunnel that takes you upstairs to the Devil’s Disco there was a mulling crowd hanging around near the stage, awaiting the set from DIVES. Confident swagger brought the boys onstage and the ring of reverb began to batter around the intimate venue upstairs, a psychedelia tinge floated around – from the dress sense of the four onstage to the staircase leading up to the venue.

DIVES bring a coming together of contemporary psychedelic rock from both sides of the Atlantic – a cool Brian Jonestown Massacre aura merged with that of the recent SULK or Spacemen 3. A nifty cover of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ‘Not If You’re The Last Dandy On Earth’ gave a new spin on the original, replacing the blues finish with a reverberated haze. It was certainly a mover and shaker, many hips were thrown around like loose change around a sweaty little pocket. The second track into the set, titled ‘I Feel Better’ appeared as the standout piece of original material, a fantastic little number, backing vocals carrying the audience as if they were the flag upon baying football fans. Drums thundered and bass followed path as tension built and released throughout the song, as if they were the pounding pulse underlying the entire spectacle. A crescendo was reached finally and it really felt like the end of a headline set. It was an uncanny feeling as DIVES were second on, unusual for a supporting act however, taking no credit from them, it was a very well deserved success.

What you can really expect from DIVES is a fresh tinge within Brighton’s psychedelic music scene, a coolness from 60s mod plunged through the mould of Anton Newcombe’s inventions and tamperings. Exceptionally worth seeing, a band to gawp at, to move to and drift to – many different influences obviously encompass the roots of DIVES and it is this that makes them so damn interesting to watch. What was fantastic was there was a Northern sensibility surrounding the performance – guitarist John taking moments within the set to pull teasing, mocking faces at the audience. It wasn’t arrogance, it was a sense of having fun and removing the facade of being in a band with the archetypal cool muso sporting an ego the size of the Great Wall of China. For a debut set, it was a marvel to watch and behold; they certainly took a little dance with the Devil up there in the disco and we sure as shit hope they continue. Viva la DIVES.

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