dEUS, Koko, 15/10/08
A brisk Wednesday evening and the decision to go watch dEUS at KOKO fills me with the same shivers of indecisiveness of hooking up with an old high school sweetheart. Going through all possible (mostly worst-case) scenarios in my head, I arrive early to watch the support band. With the venue being near empty and the extortionate price for a can of beer, my doubt and apprehension begin to grow.
De Staat, a band from the Netherlands, takes the stage with much appreciation from the Dutch contingency waving the national flag. An intriguing drum intro bangs through an obviously improved sound system, after previous disappointments of quality in KOKO and De Staat conform to a classic rock & roll template with an edited touch of QOTSA, the occasional surf guitar and a cowbell present in each song. This five piece who’re fronted by someone who doesn’t know whether he’s Elvis Presley or Rex Manning (both heroes for different reasons) offer enough hooks and entertainment to restrain myself from breaking the bank at the bar. They leave the stage to generous applause.
My thoughts are still on how my former sweetheart and I departed. No animosity, no grudges, just a mutual decision to experience news things. The venue fills up and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is played out in its near entirety. Tensions ease.
Then they appear. A relationship that was lucky enough to last longer than a one night stand. Fittingly, dEUS open the set with When She Comes Down, their opening track from their recent album Vantage Point. It is clear to hear that she has removed all piercings and covered all tattoos to get a respectable job in the city. The band seem in good spirits as they boast Belgium currently lead Spain by a goal to nil in the World Cup Qualifier. The mood is projected onto the crowd as they play Instant Street. Feet continue to lift off the ground with a few dancy numbers which include Fell off the Floor, Man, Theme from Turnpike and the single The Architect. The atmosphere soon dies down when they continue to play a selection of songs from their recent album. Nothing Really Ends brings the crowd to a standstill and the excitement soon disappears along with the group of girls who were jumping next to me. Some things really do end as the realisation hits of why it’s taken so long to get back in touch. Conversation becomes a chore and eventually dries up as the band play the rest of their set with attempts to rejuvenate the crowd but there’s nothing worthwhile to remember. To no one’s surprise Suds & Soda meets the uproar of the audience with open arms. It’s difficult to not join in with the jumping crowd but it only proves to be a meaningless reminiscence.
An enjoyable enough gig with two encores but still left with the disappointment of not being able to recapture the magic and passion of when we used to snog behind the bicycle sheds. Leaving the venue with an empty void the thought brushes pass me that I should be doing this with someone I love. However doesn’t mean I won’t be sending the occasional courtesy email to see how things are going.
Setlist: (if my memory serves me correctly)
When She Comes Down
Fell off the Floor, Man
Theme From Turnpike
Nothing Really Ends
If You Don’t Get What You Want
Suds & Soda
Oh Your God