Embarking on their first ever UK headline tour, Candian Punk n’ Roll trio The Dirty Nil hit the Boileroom to deliver a set of short, sharp tunes guaranteed to convert even the straightest of cynics.
Leaving much to be desired, Woking based Swords of Thought open the night with a set of disappointingly quiet, disjointed Indie Rock laced with an extra helping of awkwardness. Continuing their set with an unfortunate dose of déjà vu, songs blended together between sharply shot looks between the three members, seemingly wishing for some kind of natural disaster to bring their set to a close. However, things here aren’t all doom and gloom. The instrumentation and musicianship on display is impressive, despite its familiarity. Perhaps next time, Swords of Thought.
For some bands, it takes fancy lighting, a big stage and pyro to look impressive. Not tonight’s headliners The Dirty Nil. Barrelling onto the Boileroom stage with a blistering rendition of No Weaknesses from their debut record, the amount of sheer confidence and pomp on display here is ludicrous. For a band in their infancy, the professionalism and talent showcased by this group of young men is almost unbelievable.
Racing through a substantial set of just over ten tracks, the swagger displayed by lead singer and guitarist Luke Bentham lends a distinctly cheeky sense of playful nonchalance to proceedings, stopping only to blow brief bubbles with his chewing gum every now and then. Channelling Justin Hawkins and Slash alike, the pure carefree attitude surrounding this soon to be superstar is absolutely palpable.
However, this isn’t to say that medals shouldn’t be handed out to the other two guys in the band. Taking up vocal duties on more than one occasion, bassist David Nardi remains an absolute fixture, with a stance so powerful and commanding he only further gives credence to the bands future success. Finally, stickman Kyle Fisher serves as an absolute treat to behold, failing to miss a single beat, keeping things from ever creeping too far into the more sedated rock and roll territory. Basically, he’s a proper punk rock drumming powerhouse.
Sporting one of the thickest sounding collections of sleazy rock and roll around, those of us mourning the upcoming loss of Superheaven can be rest assured that there’s still a band to deliver the dirt. The single greatest upset of the night can only really be attributed to the lack of sheer numbers present, as the band this good played to a disappointing ten or fifteen people. Future classics such as Zombie Eyed, and the straight up hardcore Fugue State sound beautifully sloppy in the small Guildford venue (still the best in the country), and deserved to be showcased to a larger concentration of rabid fans. The next time The Dirty Nil come to your town, don’t be a dick. Buy a ticket and experience one of the finest outfits to come out of the states this decade.
(P.S. Props to the couple of younger attendees stood leaning on the stage, singing nearly every single word. You people are the life blood of this scene, and it was a blast to see there are still kids like you coming to smaller shows. More of this please.)
The Dirty Nil’s debut record Higher Power is out now via Dine Alone Music Inc.