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Gig Review: Dry Cleaning + Dehd @ O2 Academy

Somehow bringing emotion to apathy, Dry Cleaning's return to Bristol was celebratory; whilst Dehd offered a set twinged with southern indie rock.

By Grace Whillis, First Year Music

Dry Cleaning exceeded expectations on Sunday evening, a performance from a band who have truly perfected their art

An enthusiastic opening from Vermont-based trio Thus Love set the mood for a night of great music, with vocalist and guitarist Echo Marshall making their electrifying performance seem effortless.

This was matched by Dehd, who although at times did become a little repetitive in their instrumentals, compensated with pure energy and presence. After all, their rendition of popular single 'Bad Love' remind us of what good indie-rock really is. Having released their third album Blue Skies last year accompanied by two headline shows in Bristol, it was fantastic to see the band return with their signature sun-bleached southern rock.

Dry Cleaning entered exactly how their music would lead you to expect; casual, calm, and collected, as if there could be no audience there and vocalist Florence Shaw would still be asking in her blasé tone, ‘Have you seen Gary?’.

With simple staging and dim lighting, we are able to really focus on Shaw in the spotlight who had no problems keeping us enthralled. There is a sense of simultaneous intimacy and detachment, as she nonchalantly rolled her eyes at ‘Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slims’ with guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton thrashing behind her as if in separate worlds.

Dry Cleaning | Steve Gullick

Despite the superficial reservedness in vocal tone, Dry Cleaning’s performance was characterful yet subtle, and truly unlike the rest of the post-punk scene that we are seeing today, with their most recent album Stumpwork (released in October 2022) solidifying them to only keep progressing within the alternative genre, as a force to be reckoned with.

The encore of hits ‘Scratchard Lanyard and ‘Anna Calls From the Arctic’ brought an evening to a close which could only be described as captivating. A joy to have witnessed.

Featured Image: Grace Whillis

Have you seen Dehd or Dry Cleaning live?