Live: Brody Dalle, O2 Academy Birmingham 2, 26/4/14

Brody Dalle is kind of a big deal. As the frontwoman of one of the best punk bands of the early 2000s (and ever), she gave teenage girl hellraisers everywhere a voice. She taught a lot of us how to say ‘fuck you’ in a very elegant way. And she’s back, with new album Diploid Love, which promises to be a total garage-rock thrasher. I hadn’t been so excited about a show in months.

First up were The Beaches. This all-girl quartet from Toronto, Canada play punk rock and roll with a huge smattering of synths thrown over the top. Think Kill Hannah meets Bikini Kill and you’re about halfway there. And it’s awesome. On stage, they’re effortlessly cool – at least, until it gets to the banter, and then they’re kind of awkward and adorable. But they’re noisy, with some killer hooks under their belts and unforgettable synth lines. Definitely one to watch out for.

And then Brody. With the impending release of the new record and a bunch of Spinnerette stuff to choose from, I figured there’d be a couple of token Distillers songs and that would be it. The first couple of songs were taken from Diploid Love, but then they launched into ‘I Am A Revenant’ and I genuinely thought I might cry with sheer joy. All of that punk rock fury is still there, and Brody is utterly captivating. She’s the reason I play my guitar down low, almost resting on my knees. She’s the reason I picked up a guitar in the first place instead of a bass. And to see her, with a full band playing Distillers songs, kind of brought me back to those days when I was vulnerable and quiet, and reminded me exactly why I’m not any more. It was an absolutely storming set – mostly Sing Sing Death House, with smatterings of Coral Fang and even ‘The Blackest Years’ from the self-titled got a sneaky play. One glorious highlight was their cover of ‘Hybrid Moments’, which Brody dedicated to a cute 10 year old girl at the front who is no doubt going to grow up to be a rad little monster. But above anything else, it was a whole bunch of fun, and that’s how punk rock should be.

5 out of 5 high fives!

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