Gig review: Dutch Uncles at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Dutch Uncles
Dutch Uncles
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For their latest mini-tour, Manchester’s Dutch Uncles are supported by Liverpool band Outfit.

Their sound is an esoteric collage of synth-led science, but like most modern white boy indie, they aren’t afraid of causing a funk among the fusion. Their debut album Performance was released in August and jolly good it is too. As a live act, their set develops from ambient shoegaze to big 80s beat, in the best kind of ways.

The hard working Dutch Uncles have been clocking up some serious mileage since the release of their third album, Out of Touch, In the Wild, at the start of 2013. In a seemingly short space of time, they have become a curious but accomplished headline act spinning out clever pop to the masses. It’s progressive without being annoyingly self indulgent.

OK, maybe a live string section could be seen as a self indulgence, but we’ll let them off. The strings add a dramatic grandiose to the band’s twiddly guitar and keys, and really packs a punch in the slower numbers. Meanwhile, singer Duncan Wallis is fast becoming one of British indie’s most eccentric and favourable frontmen. He combines the quivering delivery of Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor with the erratic movements of David Byrne and an endearingly awkward sense of humour.

Only the smartest kids in the class could produce such sharp and challenging songs like Fester, Bellio and Cadenza; crowd pleasing tracks with urgency, purpose and intelligence. Their smart-arse streak might dissuade some, but as the band enter their sixth year, they can now truly claim to owning the stage as well as their sound.

Gig date: November 30

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