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Gig Review
Darwin Deez, Rams Pocket Radio
On a cold Wednesday night, ATL finds itself in the Limeight to check out the NYC phenomenon Darwin Deez, to see what the fuss is all about and just why the kids are going crazy for the Deez.

Local support for the evening came from Ram's Pocket Radio, and what a treat it was.

Opening with "Dieter Rams has got the Pocket Radios," the band instantly hush the audience. The song is reminiscent of Californian superstars Jack's Mannequin or Something Corporate - piano-led with a perfect band accompaniment. Every note is there for a reason and the performance is nothing short of stunning. Peter McCauley is a faultless frontman, always genuinely thanking the audience and with an irresistible charm, recalling the endearing qualities of Rufus Wainwright.

The set continues in a similar vein, and as soon as there's a danger of the pounding piano becoming a little too much, we hear "Love Is A Bitter Thing"; tender and beautiful, it showcases Pete's Tyson Ritter-esque falsetto, which, simply put, could not have been any more flawless.

The set takes a comedy edge when the band were joined by Darwin Deez himself for a freestyle rap. As well as being hilarious (Deez claims, "I never freestyle. I never have, and I never will again."), we got a real sense of camaraderie amongst the band.

In short, Ram's Pocket Radio are something very special, and a real delight both to watch and listen to.

Shortly after 10pm, Darwin Deez arrives onstage with his band. He is a sight to behold, from his curly hair (complete with headband) to his very trendy moustache. Singles "Constellations" and "Radar Detector" have taken the indie charts by storm and are catchy and danceable, but would the rest of the set live up to them?

No, unfortunately.

Definitely more style than substance, the rest of the songs are bland and instantly forgettable. On a few occasions, it wasn't even clear if Darwin was singing the same songs that the band were playing.

While the music was wholly on-trend and positively 'jangly' it just didn't fulfil expectations or meet the potential hinted at by the two singles. Regardless, the Belfast hipster brigade lapped up his antics.

Definitely "having new age fun, with a vintage feel" the band downed instruments every so often to showcase some 80s style dance routines. The dancing, rehearsed to perfection, was too much like Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" video, sans (intentional) comedy. The most painful part is when Darwin announces "This is the part of the show where we do raps."

Napoleon Dynamite's onstage routine was less embarrassing, yet all empty-framed glasses are still aimed forwards, gazing towards their latest god.

Perhaps if Darwin Deez spent more time writing and rehearsing music, less time "looking cool" and practicing immature dances, then his show might've been engaging and entertaining in at least half the way the opening act effortlessly managed to be tonight.

Angie McCriskin

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Gig Details
Venue: Spring and Airbrake
Location: Belfast
Date: 10/11/2010

Related Links
+ Darwin Deez
+ Rams Pocket Radio