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Die! Die! Die! - Oporto, Leeds, 21/8/2013

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 31 / 8 / 2013

Die! Die! Die! - Oporto, Leeds, 21/8/2013


Dave Goodwin is enthralled by New Zealand punks Die! Die! Die in a furious, intense show at Oporto in Leeds

A sticky muggy night saw us drive the hour and a half up the Great North Road from Nottingham to Leeds where we were eagerly wanting to see New Zealand band Die! Die! Die! The last time we had all the arrangements made to see Die! Die! Die! again in Leeds it bucketed snow down, the worst we'd seen for years, all across the Pennines. It was enough for us to call it off, and be in a sulk for the rest of the weekend. Not this time, however. We got to Oporto just before the first band came on. Just like any regular city bar, Oporto, however, sports a curtain toward the back that hides a small dark, dimly-lit room with a stage in the window and a bar down one side toward the back on the opposite wall. It also has some orange and black crazy paintings on the wall of an old time music hall/theatre with circus antics going on. The rest of the room is decorated likewise, and, to be honest, looks quite cool in a creepy sort of way. The first band on were a four piece by the name of Happy Daggers who entertained us with a funky early Bloc Party type sound mixed with a bit of disco, and did it in good style until Whales in Cubicles came on next. Another four piece of great rock intensions, they blistered through a three quarters of an hour set with some proper guitar work. Just before ten and, after I had purchased a copy of their new album on vinyl, the main act took the stage. Looking like a bunch of school kids who had had nothing to do for days. they wandered on stage and took their places as their attitude started to seep out onto the sweaty onlookers. After a few bumps on the drum and a couple of chords here and there, the trio from Dunedin revved up and with the announcement that they were indeed Die! Die! Die! sprung into action that reached fever pitch straight from the off. Die! Die! Die! are Andrew Wilson (vocals/guitar),Michael Logie (bass) and Michael Prain (drums), and were touring their fourth album, ‘Harmony’. They had done a few gigs in Britain after spending time in Germany, Italy and Poland, and had one final UK gig in Manchester before they headed off for some more dates in Germany and Holland. They blasted into the title track from ‘Harmony’. I had not seen three musicians so in the zone for a long, long time. Prain gazed up from his drums now and again as if in some tribal trance, and checked that the two in front of him were just as tuned as he is, and then nodded and settled himself down to more of the fastest drumming I have ever witnessed. They call it noise pop/punk, this stuff. I call it frantic, simple and definitely punk, but most of all absolutely addictive. Singer Wilson had a Curtis like intensity, as he played with the cables and mic stands and wandered around as if he had been touched by shamanistic hands. A sudden strum, and he jumped back like a frightened rabbit only to jump out into the crowd, and crouch at tables and curl up into a ball on the side sofa whilst still winding his way through the set list which consisted of mostly songs from ‘Harmony’. Bassist Logie all the time watched intently from the stage until his partner in crime returned, and then with a swagger and a half smile continued his demonic bass pumping. The room was hot and sweaty and burning now, and no one cared. There was a mosh going on as Wilson surged again into the centre of the room, and it just carried on around him like he was the only skittle left. Untouchable he wandered back to the stage after giving someone a fifty pence piece he'd found on the sofa. As they raced through the last track ‘Ashtray, Ashtray’, each of the onlookers looked as perplexed as the others as if they couldn’t comprehend how they had not seen this lot before. Die! Die! Die! were and are raw, loud and addictive. Set List: Harmony Trigger Trinity Attitude Sideways Here We Come Blinding Howye Wasted Lands Ashtray Ashtray

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SWIM (2014)
First-rate fifth album from fiery Dunedin post-punk trio Die! Die! Die!, which, while they have lost on it none of their earlier discordance, has a more polished edge
Harmony (2013)

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