Live review: Darlia at Liverpool EVAC

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When next summer you’re diligently scouring the never-ending cycle of festival line-ups, keep an eye out for Darlia.

Wherever they appear on the bill, wherever you end up going, that name should sit high on your list of must-sees.

Currently in the midst of an eight-date UK tour (book on if you still can), the hype surrounding the Blackpool grunge rockers is palpable.

A debut album is expected to drop early next year meaning that by the time you are packing your poncho and testing out those wellies next summer, the name Darlia may already be well and truly burned into your psyche.

“Stars Are Aligned” has already been listed as one of Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest Records in the World’ while Fearne Cotton has also had her mainstream mits all over the single.

Striding onto the stage at Liverpool’s East Village Arts Club, frontman Nathan Day looks like he’s come straight from the set of a Tim Burton film.

Wearing checkered pants and with strands of straggly blonde hair dangling down from beneath his bucket hat, the 20-year-old bellows out “Napalm” like there’s no next song.

YouTube had given me a taste of what to expect but Darlia live is a completely different animal . The hooks bigger, the tone darker, the sound more sinister. “Pandemonium” does showcase a lighter side, “Candyman” the deliciously dark, the chorus’s haunting harmonies a treat.

Cobain comparisons have been plentiful – the three piece, the long blonde hair, smatterings of angst-filled grunge. But polished melodies shine through as does more than a hint of 90s indie.

Blistering guitar riffs tear through the intro to “Stars Are Aligned” awaiting Day’s soft vocals which bring calm to the chaos.

“I can be your pretty little dear diary, you can tell me all your secrets,” he sneers on “Dear Diary”. His knack of blending the delicate and melodic with the dark and coarse, addictive.

A bright-eyed child-like innocence burns within the centre of Day’s songs. “Choke on Bones”, and set closer “Queen of Hearts” were written when he was 14 years old and the youthful exuberance translates now. The bruising “Choke” bristles with raw punk power, while in contrast “Hearts” brims with pop-fuelled hooks.

A year ago Day was cleaning toilets in the college where he had studied. His ‘thank you’ at the end of the night was as sincere as the ones that followed very other song.

D.a.r.l.i.a. Write it down; remember it.