Review: Delphic

Simon ParkinSome bands just arrive fully formed. A sound fully realised, both live and on record. Delphic are one such band who've emerged on a wave of hot for 2010 hype from industry tastemakers, who placed them on every one's to watch' list.

Simon Parkin

Norwich Arts Centre

Some bands just arrive fully formed. A sound fully realised, both live and on record.


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Delphic are one such band who've emerged on a wave of hot for 2010 hype from industry tastemakers, who placed them on every 'one's to watch' list and in the top three of the highly influential BBC Sound of 2010 list.

The Manchester outfit are clearly working to a pre-Oasis blueprint with a sound that owes a debt to the Hacienda warehouse party/rave scene and notably New Order.

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However, though every article about the band so far has mentioned the comparison, they're, at turns, both more full-on electro and hard indie than New Order ever were.

One thing they do share though is a love of one word song titles - Doubt, Halcyon, Submission - and each offers up a mix of relentless, twitchy drum beats, soaring synth lines and mantra-like choruses.

Singer and bass player James Cook has a dreamy delivery that seduces, backed on occasion by keyboardist Rick Boardman, who otherwise hammers away on various electronic percussion items.

As does Matt Cocksedge, but he also provides occasional guitar contributions too, adding a different dimension.

Live as on record they're slick, cool and seemingly effortless, with each so seamlessly recreated that you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference.

Indeed that, on this evidence at least, is their only failing so far.

For much of this show there was a disconnect between band and audience who were watching, enraptured perhaps but not moved.

Strange as their soaring electronic sound, and blinding light show owes so much to the build-to-a-crescendo rave dynamic.

Perhaps its just the unfamiliarity of their material - their debut Acolyte was release just four days previously - and a five-minute technical hitch didn't help, but if they can find a way to reach out to the audience it'll be something to behold.

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