For many including Underscore Part 3 the announcement of White Denim with support from Boy Azooga felt as close to a double headline gig that you’re going to find for a venue of its size so it’s without surprise that Portsmouth’s hotspot the Wedgewood Rooms had sold out in advance.  

White Denim

By the time Boy Azooga step on the stage promptly after doors it’s apparent people planned their early arrival, the room was already comfortably full. Boy Azooga played an even mix of mellow tempo songs and upbeat rock numbers but although on record the more sedate numbers work well with studio production on this outing they felt exactly as described, a little lacklustre and sedate. Regardless every track was extremely well received and it was apparent the room was full of fans. To finish Boy Azooga’s set the band rammed through 3 tracks of big riffs and showed themselves at their most comfortable and by final track Loner Boogie the crowd was audibly well lubricated for White Denim’s arrival.

White Denim

White Denim’s arrival on stage was greeted by a venue bursting to the brim of lustful fans eager for the spectacle the band put on, the band step out with a smooth self-assuredness that continues throughout the gig not uttering a word to introduce themselves and playing multiple blues rock behemoth’s before taking a break to say hi. When lead singer Austin finally gives the band a break from playing and the audience a break from dancing he speaks with humility and relatability breaking the wall between the rock gods and the audience. It feels ridiculous given the level of craftmanship White Denim have that Austin gratefully chats to the audience talking about the great venue Wedgewood Rooms is; many bands with genius level of talent reek of arrogance whereas White Denim almost displayed the opposite.

White Denim

“One crowd member summed up the audiences feeling perfectly shouting at a brief pause between songs “What a fucking band!””

Attending a White Denim concert you will learn that there are no highlights but instead many of the tracks are elongated and take on an improvised structure; the band put on a performance not a regurgitation of their album and with the skill the band have its impossible not to be blown away. One crowd member summed up the audiences feeling perfectly shouting at a brief pause between songs “What a fucking band!” The crowd erupted with cheers which the band thanked them for. White Denim seem to be trying to rival Bruce Springsteen length concerts playing for over 1 hour and 50 minutes; not many bands at this level of venue can play for this length of time White Denim and not many have nearly 2 hours of music of quality worth playing. White Denim “What a Fucking Band”.

White Denim

Venue: Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, 29.7.2019

Words: James Wadsworth @jamespart31

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