Live Review: Dirty Hit Tour | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Live Review: Dirty Hit Tour

Holly Carter heads down to see Pale Waves, King Nun and the return of Superfood on the Dirty Hit's Tour

London record label Dirty Hit is home to some of the biggest names in the indie scene right now; Wolf Alice, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, The 1975, Marika Hackman. Think buzz bands of 2016 – they’re probably with Dirty Hit. I went down to catch their most recent tour, showcasing their most recent signing, prolific b-town indie rockers Superfood. Supported by two of the label’s lesser-known young bands, Pale Waves and King Nun, this tour just added excitement to the long-awaited return of Superfood.

An old converted cinema, The Haunt in Brighton had the perfect vibe for this tour – all black, high ceillings, a touch of that charming, indie grime (think tarnished behind-bar mirrors, toilet doors that don’t lock). Pale Waves were the first to grace the stage. They’re known for being Matt Healey’s protégées, and you can tell. Their twangy guitars and slurred lyrics are very first-album-1975, and all of their songs sound a little bit samey. With only one song, ‘There’s A Honey’, released on Spotify, it’s not surprising that they’re playing to a very small crowd. Cool and nonchalant on stage, their set was fairly enjoyable, if nothing special, and their performance of ‘There’s A Honey’ as their final song did get the crowd going.

Next were King Nun, a heavier, all male outfit hailing from London. The crowd is more substantial now, full of indie babies nursing Red Stripe, and they literally start moshing before the songs have even started (my 16-year-old brother and companion for the night assures me that ‘Brighton gigs are always like this’). King Nun seem used to this, bashing out beats with enthusiastic fervor for a solid thirty minutes before leaving a slightly sweaty crowd to the mercy of Superfood.

Now only a two piece, Dom Ganderton and Ryan Malcom seem to have a lot to prove after their eighteen month hiatus. The first single from their upcoming album, ‘Double Dutch’ went down a storm on release, and it’s no different when they open their show with it here. Shouting ‘let me see you jump!’, the pair and their band get the crowd going from the word go. After a quick ‘how are you doing tonight!’, they launch straight into first album opener ‘Lily For Your Pad To Rest On’, and the crowd are clapping along, the dedicated moshers ready to jump in as soon as the beat drops.

Dom seems to have the crowd in the palm of his hand during ‘You Can Believe’, drawing out the riffs and not dropping the beats when expected, leading to a few awkward false starts for the mosh. He’s playing with the crowd, but it seems to go on just a little to long, and it eventually turns out that the bass drum has broken so they’re having to draw out the song until it’s fixed. Professional and unfazed, Dom laughs ‘we’re definitely gunna finish this song!’. They eventually do, but in the next song, early MAM EP banger ‘Bubbles’, Dom breaks a string. Again dealing calmly, Superfood seem charmingly rough around the edges in classic b-town style.

Superfood seem charmingly rough around the edges in classic b-town style

Dom chats for a while about being away for a couple of years, writing the new album and being signed to Dirty Hit. They then play some new, unreleased material, which is as exciting as it is fantastic. Using reggae and funk beats, close harmonies and edgy samples, these few tracks seem to carry on the new direction that was signified by ‘Double Dutch’. With an extra singer from Brighton brought on during these two songs, they have such a full sound and leave me buzzing for the new album.

With ‘Right On Satellite’ they move back to old favourites. With an extremely slow build up to the beat, the band really are playing with the crowd now, and the moshers wait in their circle for a good minute or so before Dom, Ryan and co. give in and give them some drums to jump to. After an emotional end note in which Dom talks of their worries about coming back after time off, saying ‘it means so much that you’re all here’, they play eponymous single ‘Superfood’ before leaving the stage.

Explosive and energetic as always, Superfood absolutely smashed their comeback gig, proving that they are returning bigger and better than ever

But not for good, of course. Literally leaping back on stage to cheers from the crowd, they finish off their set with an encore of ‘TV’, a song ‘about going to a gig and not being able to sleep afterwards’. Explosive and energetic as always, Superfood absolutely smashed their comeback gig, proving that they are returning bigger and better than ever. This band has definitely been missed, and their second album is sure to be just as fantastic as their live show promises.

Final year english lit student, beanie wearer and vegetable enthusiast (@holscarts)


21st April 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

21st April 2017 at 3:47 am