Concert Review: The Good Suns, Those Darlins @ The Lexington, London, England

Last night, Those Darlins from the bustling metropolis of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, kicked off their UK and European tour at the Lexington, here in London, England. Those Darlins are touring on behalf of their excellent second album, Screws Get Loose. The band are also preparing for the release of a new EP. And to throw some more info your way, one of the band members, Kelley Darlin (aka Kelly Anderson – the band likes to use the same last name, ala the Ramones or Mumford & Sons) recently left the band.

So how would the band sound without Kelley? In case they needed a 3rd female vocalist, I reached into my closet, grabbed my finest dress and blonde wig, and got beat up on the way to the show. Thankfully, I managed to recover in time to drink lots of beers and catch the show (multi-talented man, right here).

Opening for the band were The Good Suns, as well as Beta Blocker & The Body Clock (who we missed – sorry guys!). The Good Suns are a foursome from London (and judging by their video for their song, Pop Wound, they live awfully close to me). The band has a sort of jangly pop feel to them.

The first song’s introduction showed off their musicianship, alternating between a fast/slow/fast build up, before the singing began. The 2nd song, Scum, evoked a Weezer/Pains of Being Pure at Heart vibe. The singer noted that the 4th song was for Bill Huserbrock (Sp?), his ex-boss who fired him and then in turn just got deported as an illegal immigrant. How is that for karma?

The band played a solid 6 song set, although the vocals weren’t as up front in the mix as I’d like, drowned out by the guitars and bass for a lot of the set. Definitely worth checking the Good Suns out on YouTube though.

Those Darlins took the stage a little before 10pm (awfully close to my bed time). Those Darlins are led by Nikki Darlin, Jessi Darlin, and drummer “Sheriff” Linwood Regensburg, who doesn’t get to be called a Darlin for some cruel reason. Jessi Darlin was rockin’ a black unitard / body suit that was both a bit odd but strangely sexy. Nikki Darlin was also dressed all in black, while there was a new, 4th member to the band, a male bassist who I will call “Dude Darlin” since he wasn’t introduced.

The band said that they were from Nashville, Tennessee, which (if you read the first paragraph) is a LIE! I left the show after this and the review is sadly incomplete Those Darlins kicked off with the title track from their latest album, Screws Get Loose. Jessi had a snarl on her face, as she bopped around and sung the track.

The next song was Hives, followed up by BUMD, which is how they spell “Bummed” in Tennessee (insert red neck education joke).

The 4th song was announced as a new song, and Jessi took a swig of water before the song, crushing my hopes of her being as much of an alcoholic as me.

2 more songs from the Screws Get Loose album followed, first was the Prank Call, then was Waste Away. Mystic Mind followed, and still no banter from the band. No real complaints, as the songs were sounding good. Jessi has mastered the art of stage presence, drawing the crowd in with her maniacal, crazy eyed stares. Everyone loves a good homicidal maniac, right?

The next song was a cover song, Wild in the Streets, which is a Garland Jeffreys song, supposedly about New York. Night Jogger followed, and the band asked if people jogged in England or if they called it something else. Nope, people just drink beer at night here.

Another new song, Burn Me Up, followed, with Jessi noting all of the cute boys in the audience. Clearly, Jessi saw me at the front of the crowd, to which I say “Thank you.”

The band then asked if anyone knew Rockpile. No one really answered, so the band said they wrote the next song, as they launched into their cover of Rockpile’s Pet and Hold You, which is a B-side to Mystic Mind.

The band sort of goaded the audience after the song, noting that “Down in Tennessee we shake our asses every once in a while. You guys don’t do that so much. Well have to how you. Well, after the show.” Ironically, the band then launched into a slow number.

Following that, the band played another single from Screws Get Loose, the awesomely written Be Your Bro, which is about a guy who wants to get with a girl, but the girl just wants to be his bro. Story of my life (*tear)

The band dedicated the next song, Fatty Needs a Fix, to the 2 girls at the side of the stage. They then played Red Light Love from their self-titled first album. After the song, drummer Linwood said that the band is going to be on Channel 4 at 12:30am for the Black Cab Sessions. Jessi then mocked the comment, noting that no one is going to rush home to watch the television when they can stay out and drink (it’s like she can read my mind!).

I actually didn’t know the next song (oh, the shame!), but the following song was Funstix Party, featuring the deep, age old lyrics of “I bring the pussy, you bring the dick.” Didn’t Plato say that? Jessi came off stage and into the crowd, much to the delight of some of the drooling fanboys. Me, I’m much too mature for that. Okay, I was drooling, too, and might have tried to cop a feel (read: I totally copped a feel).

The band left the stage, and then returned for an encore, playing $, their 18th song of the night. The final song of the night was a Velvet Underground cover song, about William S. Burroughs, called Lonesome Cowboy Bill.

The band is a fun band to watch, from their Beastie Boys-esque early album playful lyrics, to their interaction with the crowd, you should check out Those Darlins if you get a chance. They’re swinging back to London in less than a week, so you have no excuse.

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Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose

UK Tour Dates for Those Darlins
28-Mar UK – London @ Lexington
29-Mar UK – Bristol @ Start The Bus
30-Mar UK – Nottingham @ Bodega
31-Mar UK – Leicester @ Lock 42
01-Apr UK – Glasgow @ King Tuts
02-Apr UK – Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
03-Apr UK – Manchester @ Ruby Lounge
04-Apr UK – London @ Brixton Windmill

PHM Rating for The Good Suns: 7.5 out of 10
PHM Rating for Those Darlins: 8.0 out of 10

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