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Polar Shoegaze Sessions: DILK and The Stirrings

by François Zappa

Last 27th of March, like a modern Jonah, I was waiting to be swallowed by by a whale, this time Moby Dick, the famous venue in Madrid where I have seen so many good concerts. If hunting the whale was the obsession of Captain Ahab, mine was of attending a concert. So during those days before the concert of DILK and The Stirrings I was afraid that a new wave was going to bury me again in the deepness of my home.

At the door of Moby Dick, we were explained that we could not move from our seat, that the waiter was coming to serve us every time that we need it and that we have to wear face mask and be sit during all the concert. Everything as we expected. Very punctual were darkwave band DILK, who instantly submerged us in their musical universe thanks to the atmospheres of “Bright Light”. Things got faster with “I Can’t Figure It Out” and at the same time the level of intensity was increasing. The band continued with one of the first songs that they released “Graveyard Orbit”, that was followed by the most danceable “Permafrost” that reminded me of She Past AwayWe were closed to the end of the concert and it was the turn for “Pluto”, one of the songs that I like the most from their debut album Hardship, that was considered one of the best works of last year by El Garaje de Frank. Before leaving the stage, they played a new track, “Bad Habit” that was released on that same week and as they said in the interview, you can really notice that the singing is a bit more aggressive. A perfect ending for a concert that made us feel a bit nostalgic of the the previous gigs of the band when life was a bit more normal. 

After a pause in which a couple of Policemen came to see if everything was in order, it was the turn of The Stirrings. The band started with some raw guitars with a sound similar to Jesus And Mary Chain of the powerful “Start A Riot”. The next song was closer to territories explored by Spiritualized or at least that was what I thought when I heard “I Need You”, that was followed by the swampy blues of “Bad Decease”. After these songs, we could hear their cover of The Doors‘ “Five to One” that was  just great. After the intense “Slow Burn”, we had the only negative note of this small festival: the annoying people that go to the concerts to talk, well, they survived the pandemic, as we could appreciate thanks to a group of people who were at the end of the venue. They spent most of the concerts talking and laughing in a very loud way. So, the singer of the band, Ryan Louis Bradley has to ask them to please shut up. After this, we heard “Light Up the Town” and another track from their first album “Gods and Monsters”. The end of the concert was getting close and they played their single “Bottle of Fifth” before finishing with a new track, entitled “Elevator” that again made me think on Spiritualized. It was way less that the three days and three nights that Jonah spent inside the whale when, a bit before eleven, we had to leave the stomach of the intelligent mammal to come back to what more than an ocean looked like a desert.   

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