“You’re acting like suburban royalty,” sings Death By Denim lead singer and occasional rapper Nikolas Illiadis. A song about the snotty Golden Triangle girls and the title track of their new EP, the Perth locals launched a fun new album to 150 rock fans on Saturday night.
I’m late to opening act Moonlighter’s set due to who I am as a person, but luckily the Death By Denim boys are live streaming it on Instagram. From my Uber I watch a young but extremely talented three piece play to a small crowd at Amplifier. I feel like every Perth psych band gets the Tame Impala comparison but these guys do have a bit of early Kevin Parker about them (I’m talking real early, self-titled days). I don’t know who laced Perth’s water supply with acid but I thank you – Moonlighter are still very raw but if you love 70s-style rock they’re a band to keep your beady little eyes on.
The second and final support act for the night takes the stage at 9.30 to an ever-growing Saturday crowd. I often mix up Demon Days and Hideous Sun Demon for reasons obvious – but their similarities definitely end at their band names. Demon Days sound like Badbadnotgood fronted by Kimbra, the type of soul-funk outfit you’d expect to see at a jazz bar over a glass of red. Instead, we’re swilling vodka Red Bull in plastic cups in Amplifier’s sweaty band room. It’s wrong but it’s also so, so right.
Headliners Death By Denim take the stage at 10.30 and launch into their amusingly self-titled song ‘Death by Denim’. It’s definitely not their best tune, but it’s also very much taking the piss. I’ve seen Death By Denim a handful of times now and not only is this the biggest crowd I’ve seen them draw but it’s also the most polished I’ve seen them perform.
Hitting the studio has done them the world of good – tracks like ‘Georgia, Grace’ and ‘Big Sound’ have seriously benefited from experience with their producer. Album title track and three minute belter ‘Suburban Royalty’ got the crowd jumping, but the stand out was easily ‘Ocean Lines’, a pretty love ballad that quickly had arms around shoulders.
Half way through the set the boys covered Kendrick Lama’s ‘I’ and Harry Styles’ ‘Sign Of The Times’, which can only be described as very fucking weird. You can’t go too wrong with crowd-pleaser Kendrick, but bringing in One Direction leftovers? I was apprehensive to say the least, but the walls of Amps did not cave in and it actually went down okay. Strange times indeed.
After cheers for an encore the boys finished on ‘Horizontal’, a cheeky little number about getting laid. Sure, the lyrics are a little basic, but then again the song is about basic bitches. Death By Denim have taken huge leaps forward as musicians with ‘Suburban Royalty’, so much so I’ll even forgive them for slagging off Perth’s Western suburbs – I know you guys all still live there.