Live Review: Dengue Fever

DENGUE FEVER – Broadcast – 27/9

If you’ve ever heard ​’Misirlou​’ off the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, or, alternatively, Black Eyed Peas’ ​’Pump It’​, you’ll have discovered that surf rock blends rather tastily with world music.  Dengue Fever clearly know this very well and have made it their craft, combining psychedelia with Cambodian pop to deliver luscious tones and highly danceable tunes.  Never reliant on a gimmick, each and every song had a life of its own, with everyone in the room bobbing their heads to the rhythm at the very least.

Lesser bands may have struggled to fill out the sound and make something exciting out of some of the simpler riffs a good few songs were based on, but the five-­piece always had another trick to pull out of their collective sleeve. Singer Chhom Nimol’s high­-pitched – but in no way shrill – vocals soared over the raucous noise of the band, and the lyrics’ being mostly in the Cambodian Khmer language really allowed you to focus solely on the tone of her voice.  The rest of the band were certainly capable: ­the guitar, bass and drums would have made some serious sound on their own ­ but arguably stealing the show was David Ralicke, switching between tenor sax, cornet and flute, who at one point, quite without warning, jumped off the stage and played a screaming sax solo in the middle of the audience.

All night the band were swaying and visibly having a good time, which really rubbed off on all watching. Everyone was encouraged to dance and clap along when possible; the pacing was spot­on with only one song that didn’t really hit with the crowd, and plenty that had people jumping. Definitely one for fans of the likes of Gogol Bordello and The Baghdaddies, and for anyone else who just bloody likes to party.

[Jimmy Donaghy]

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