Feature: Review - Small Lies

Small Lies comes back to Derby with a bang!

After a couple of years hiatus Small Lies is back! Last Friday saw the return of Small Lies, with local artist Tracey Meek taking the reigns to curate and organise a successful come back. Taking on a dramatic venue change, from beer garden to the dark warren like maze of the Lunar Rooms at The Sun Lounge. Once navigation was mastered, bar found and drink in hand on the terrace, I anticipated a successful night.

The first of the familiar faces trickled into the main room, admiring the eclectic decor and handmade Meek additions. Pleasantries were exchanged amongst the crowd, although there was one unfamiliar face amongst us; a hooded figure, with crazy grey curls and a bemused look on her face. Melody Marshall took to the stage under the pseudonym ‘Unchanged Melody’, whipping off her mac and presenting a bright yellow duster! Entertaining the crowd with her (almost) silent comedy routine set to a Charlston-esque soundtrack, leaping on and off a table, pegging up, swishing and reading her duster like a broadsheet. A madcap performance culminating with a unique version of ‘Unchained Melody’ and a few more shakes of her duster.

Resident DJ for the evening, ‘Holy Smokes!’ representative Russell Beresford supplied party tunes between sets, managing to dance and dodge the low flying polystyrene planes.

Next up we had what was billed as ‘Mascot Fight vs. My Psychoanalyst’ , although two members short the ‘Mascot Fight’ boys poached the ‘My Psych’ drummer for a song or two and provided an entertaining set as frisbees were thrown and things got lively. Not wasting any time, Derby music scene veterans ‘My Psychoanalyst’ were our next course from the evenings smorgasbord of sounds. Ripping straight into their set of crashing drums and melodic vocals, the boys delivered a cracking performance. The crowd nodded and tapped in time to the oo’s, ahh’s and cymbal crashes of the dynamic set. As always the boys delivered a sterling mix of classics and new gems.

A short break followed and the crowd dispersed into the pockets of space, in search of drinks, cigarettes and more music. Some ventured to the sun terrace, where they danced to the drum and bass sounds from The Sun Lounge below.

In soundcheck the next group seemed a little tame, dressed in wooly jumpers and denim cut offs, but ‘Francobollo’ certainly delivered a punch. Hailing from Sweden the dashing floppy haired quartet proved an instant hit with the crowd, within minutes their sounds had people  grinning and dancing. Welcoming applause quickly transformed into loud choruses of whoops led by the ‘My Psych’ boys. Steady beats coupled with simple lyrics, their stage energy grew along with the cymbal crashes, leaps and bounces. The infectious monumental appreciation of the Derby crowd took over the band. Lapping up the support they made the stage, the room, the venue theirs almost creating a sauna with the heat and sweat seeping from the Swedes. After more bounding, lengthy walls of sound and continued cheers, the band shed their sweaters, exposing their pale, sweaty torsos. Ending their set on an exhausting but triumphant high, ‘Francobollo’ headed for the terrace to welcome the cool Derby night air. Not so fast, we weren’t letting them go anywhere! Their grungy sounds welcomed us once more, embracing the encore with twice the energy of the whole set, a really tremendous delivery. 

Pumped up and wanting more, the crowd prepared themselves for technojungledubbstepmashup Lord ‘Beefclaw’. Providing his dirty tunes into the small hours ‘Beefclaw’ gradually built up the intensity of his set which was encouraged by his thrashing movements within the booth, the room once more became a capsule of energy. As more gathered into the space, drawn in by the pace of the music the sways and thrashes were mirrored. An enticing looking drum kit lay in the corner itching to be included in the frivolities of the room. In a matter of moments half the room were playing the kit, lead by the ‘My Psych’ boys. Fuelled by plenty of booze the communal drummers soaked up the bass lines, banging walls and doorframes as well as the drums. A nice big pile of beats and womps later the room was well and truly skanked out. 

Congratulations to all involved it was an event that will certainly be remembered as ‘one of those nights’. Perhaps we can persuade ‘Francobollo’ to come to back to Derby again? Look out for more Small Lies gigs in the future, they have definitely come back with a bang.