DIIV, DITZ @ Metronome, Nottingham, UK, 23 August, 2022

Aug 30, 2022
By Dom Gourlay
Photography by Shaun Gordon
Web Exclusive


​It’s been a tough couple of years for DIIV when it should have been plain sailing. The quartet’s eagerly anticipated third album Deceiver came out at the tail end of 2019 to a wave of critical acclaim, and with a mammoth world tour and numerous festival dates planned for 2020 it looked like they would finally achieve the mainstream success their wares so richly deserved. However, Covid-19 struck and with it, DIIV’s plans went on hold for the foreseeable future.

DIIV

So it wasn’t that much of a surprise that this year’s rescheduled tour announcements in the early part of 2022 saw tickets fly out the door almost immediately, leading to more shows being added as the year went on. One of those shows just happened to be in Nottingham, a city they last graced nearly six and a half years ago in the spring of 2016. In that time, the band’s line-up has changed and indeed stabilised to become the four-piece responsible for Deceiver, a record that drew comparisons with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins among others.

DITZ

Before the headliners took the stage, it was left to Brighton experimental noise punks DITZ to open proceedings, which they did with a style and aplomb those who’ve previously witnessed their incendiary live shows have come to expect. Having played a sold=out headline show in Nottingham themselves earlier this year, the five-piece already had a legion of followers in attendance. Which was none more apparent than when they launched into a blistering “Clocks” – also the first song off their excellent debut LP The Great Regression – that resulted in most of the front three rows singing (screaming?!?) every word back at vocalist Cal Francis. A formidable presence, whether stalking the stage or confrontationally venturing into the audience at random intervals, Francis is one of many focal points in DITZ’s armoury. Machine-like drummer Sam Evans being another, his rhythmic interludes providing the driving force for the DITZ live experience. With only half an hour this evening, their set is shorter than usual but no less impacting. “I Am Kate Moss” the menacing half sibling to Gilla Band’s “Paul”, while a primal run through “Instinct” and brutally delivered “No Thanks, I’m Full” whet appetites not just for this evening’s headliners, but also DITZ’s next venture into the city. Which is only eight weeks away.

DITZ

It’s fair to say the room has reached capacity long before DIIV take the stage, and when they do they’re greeted like returning heroes from another dimension. Such is the fervour that surrounds them. As with the opening act, DIIV also possess a number of focal points within their ranks. While founder member, songwriter, guitar player and main vocalist Cole Zachary Smith might be the first name that springs to mind, and bass playing fellow vocalist Colin Caulfield another, all eyes are focused on guitarist Andrew Bailey. Himself a formidable ball of energy, eliciting a moshpit during second number “Skin Game” that only grows in number throughout the band’s thirteen songs set.

DIIV

With three albums and several singles worth of material to choose from its to DIIV’s credit that they manage to cram arguably their most popular songs into just over an hour. Having not had the opportunity to tour Deceiver prior to this year, it was worth the wait to finally get to hear over half that record in the flesh. Particularly the closing segment from an ethereal “Taker” into the pulsating “Like Before You Were Born” before a rousing finale of “Horsehead” and “Blankenship” during the encore brings the show to a close.

DIIV

Earlier in the set, Smith and co. paid homage to their debut LP Oshin which celebrated its tenth birthday in June. Early singles “Sometime” and “Doused” unsurprisingly receive the biggest cheers, while “Oshin (Subsume)” and its refrain of “Fuck the world” also gets bodies slamming into one another and even the odd football chant, which I’m sure no one expected to hear at a DIIV show.

DIIV

Its difficult to envisage whether DIIV would have reached a bigger level had their shows took place two years ago off the back of Deceiver‘s universal praise, but for now, this is as good as it gets and with more sold-out shows following this one. The next level is theirs for the taking.

DITZ


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