Marseille’s gig in Derby: an evening of 90s influenced music for the millennium

Live Review

Marseille. Photo by Mark Lear.

By Mark Lear, Rock At Night Manchester

Live Review: Marseille with Shadows of a Silhouette and The 76 Club – The Hairy Dog, Derby, UK

Now, those of a certain age (that’ll be me then) when asked to review a band called Marseille will cast an eye back to their very early childhood and think they’re in for a night of original heavy metal – think Priest and Sabbath – so it was a bit of a surprise to hear that four young Turks from Derby have stolen the name, given it a fresh lick of paint and started to bash out 90’s brit pop influenced tunes that belie their ages by a good ten years, minimum. So, on a night where I’ll soon lose an hours shut-eye because the clocks go forward, I head to a new venue for me, The Hairy Dog in Derby, a city that has got a good choice of small venues (300 – 500 people ish), such as The Venue and The Flowerpot and to which, I can now add said Dog to said list. A pub at the front, a games room at the side and then a doorway to The Kennel, which will be my office for the night.

The 76 Club. Photo by Mark Lear.

We have three bands to entertainment us, tonight and first up are relative new comers ‘The 76 Club’ who did the decent thing and stepped into the breach at the last minute when The Mercians couldn’t make it due to illness.

Hailing from ‘just down the road’ in Burton upon Trent and possibly named after the Towns infamous nightclub from the 70’s / 80’s, they deliver a strong ten song set, mainly of their own material but with a Strokes cover ‘You Only Live Once’ thrown in for good measure and a belting version of Blondie’s ‘Hangin on the Telephone’ which caught me right off guard and made me sit up and pay closer attention than I might have been doing. It was all crashed out in half an hour and was over before you knew it, but it’s a good start to the evening and Derby liked it a lot too. Nice.

Shadows of Silhouette. Photo by Mark Lear.

Second up tonight are a band with a bit more seasoning about them – but not much. ‘Shadows of a Silhouette’ are home grown and define their sound as ‘enthusiastic incorporating relentless energy, pulsating guitars, catchy riffs and prominent lyrics influenced by the Arctic Monkeys’, which is probably a fair description, but I can’t testify too much about the lyrics part as our main frontman had a bit of the lurgy about him causing the vocals to suffer a little, but I’d heard enough to want to look them up again on another day. They gig regularly and even made the cut for this year’s YNOT Festival in July, so plenty have seen, and therefore know, something I don’t so it’ll be worth the effort on another day, I reckon.

…and so we come to our ‘headliner’ – Marseille, who had set the scene earlier in the week, Tweeting “2 days until the @marseilleband lads rip derby a new one @hairydogderby then they will carry on getting bigger and bigger the next time they will be playing derby will be @derbyarena followed by 3 nights back 2 back @dcfcofficial s pride Park stadium see you Saturday lads 🎸🎸. Mmmmm, let’s see, shall we…

Marseille. Photo by Mark Lear.

So, I’m guessing that these boys are heavily influenced by their Dads’ CD collections seeing as the tunes are so reminiscent of The Stone Roses, Oasis and Joy Division, which they say is ‘accented by a Derby twang’, which wasn’t something I was familiar with – and still aren’t really, but the good and kind people of Derby were perhaps, judging by the response they were given when they appeared on stage resplendent in drainpipe jeans, a parka and the obligatory Adidas trainers all round. Welcome to the 90’s …25 years on.

Derby had been suitably warmed up and were ready. They open with ‘Something’s Better Than Nothing’ and ‘Go Time’ but it’s tune three that starts the frenzy, and it only takes a few bars of ‘Only Just Begun’ for The Hairy Dog to bounce. Steve Lamacq has played this on 6Music, and I reckon he knows a thing or two so all the hype just might be real.

‘Might as Well be Mine’, ‘This Dream of Mine’ and ‘She Knows a Place’ follow and I begin to wonder what I’m witnessing. This band is only two years old (ish) and front-man Brown tells us that “this time last year no one had heard of us now we’re selling out venues”, before launching into the song that started it all, ironically titled “Forget it All”. I look around me and see that Derby is singing along to most of the tunes as if they were anthems and in a word perfect style. I wonder how this can be as Marseille are still new and shiny and the entire crowd can’t be their best mates surely as there’s hundreds in here – or maybe they are, and I know nothing – but this groove is greatly appreciated. Derby loves and looks after its own, it would appear.

Marseille. Photo by Mark Lear.

‘The Jungle’ provides the boys with their champagne supernova moment seeing as it lasts for eight or more minutes, starting with heavy drums which are soon taken over by the jangly guitars that the band have carved into their DNA, and we go straight into ‘Silence From the Skies’ before a beefed up version of the current single, ‘Thinker’ from their debut EP.

They finish an 18 tune set – don’t say you don’t get value for money with these boys – with State of Mind which sees Brown head off to the bar early leaving the rest to slog it out for all they were worth, for a good five minutes using every string and skin to maximum effect. Derby are now fully satisfied and looking towards the next time, as am I, and it’s good to know that they’ll literally land on my doorstep come the late Bank Holiday in May. Nice – for the second time tonight.

The only downside to the evening came when after the band had exited stage left and the DJ ripped in with S Club 7’s ‘Don’t Stop Movin’. How this fits in after a shed load of Brit pop, I don’t know, but after hearing over 30 tunes tonight – some of them anthems in the making – guess which one will be going around in my head as I navigate the A50 ? ?

Answers on a postcard please…

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Mark Lear

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