DEMOB HAPPY // THE GARAGE, LONDON
Gnarly, meaty riffs meet electric crowd for a night of epic homecoming proportions at London’s The Garage
When a support act blows your mind as much as the main act, you know you've got to add this band to your must-see-when-headlining list. This was the case for many who got to experience Demob Happy as they supported the likes of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Jack White and Nothing But Thieves throughout 2018.
Kicking off 2019 with their own headlining tour, that took them across the country, they found themselves playing in front of the legendary, sold-out 600-people-capacity Garage in London on 1st March 2019.
As soon as the long-haired lanky three-piece, who might as well been transported directly from the 70s, hit the stage, it became obvious that this night was going to go down in the band's history as The Gig.
Within a few notes, the band rocked the crowd into such a moshing frenzy that circle pits were spanning from one dingy side to the other, and sweat was nearly literally dropping off the ceiling. Even the gotta-wear-the-coat-even-when-its-hot guys and gals had to cave in and strip off a lot of layers.
Demob’s music is an unashamed smorgasbord of gnarly, meaty riffs hailing with inspiration of Zeppelin, Seattle grunge and high-desert stoner rock a la Queens of the Stone Age, and yet the band still have enough of their own gifts and musical chops to avoid feeling like a derivative cover band.
And so they played their riff-heavy setlist that was a mix of tracks from the new album ("Fake Satan", "Loosen It", "Spinning Out", "Runnin Around" and more) as well as favourites from their first album like the show-openers "Succubus" and "Haat de Stank". The setlist went down like a charm, with each of the 600 people not just singing each word but each riff, including those of the newest track "Less is More".
Giving themselves and the crowd a well-deserved and much-needed breather, the trio played the titular track of their latest album "Holy Doom" in a somewhat unplugged version, which saw leadsinger and bassist Matt on the keys while the drummer Tom switched it up to play the bass. It was a bit of a weird one, hearing such a heavy band play such a softer song, but the crowd was still loving it.
The band dialled it straight back up, going back to the stuff the fans came to hear, finishing on "Be Your Man" that was intertwined with the Beatles "Helter Skelter", and finally "Maker of Mine", which saw the band jumping into the crowd at the end.
This gig felt like a seminal moment for the band, a packed out show with a tight set, some great new music, the feeling of much bigger things approaching. There is little doubt that Demob Happy have all the ingredients to go on to far greater things and larger stages, with a few tweaks and a slice of good fortune. Not only to see how the stage performance and huge heavy tracks translate to a bigger stage, but also for hipster bragging points, informing neophytes that actually ‘we saw them way back when they played The Garage’