There’s a lot of noise being made about Delphic right now, owing to their bronze ranking on BBC’s Sound Of 2010 list. The thing is about this prestigious title is that it’s something of a self fulfilling prophecy – if the BBC says something is going to be the next big thing then in a sense it already is. The fact that the list itself is compiled by a group of media big-wigs who are already throwing money at these acts kind of implies that if the artists don’t make it there must be something wrong with them.
This financial endorsement was certainly evident when Delphic took to the stage at Audio last Tuesday – the unnecessarily elaborate lighting rig smacked of a campaign with more money than it knew what to do with.
But what about the band themselves? For all their Topman just-stepped-out-the-office charm there was something undeniably lacking in Delphic’s stage presence. It wasn’t the music – their technically dazzling and categorically original back-catalogue was executed with all the enviable precision and the excitement of Stephen Hawking explaining basic quantum physics… ok, maybe it was the music. It was just so polished and tight that it sounded like the product of a new computer programme that was instructed to create “futuristic electro-indie.”
Maybe I sound a little harsh. Again I must congratulate the boys on their musical accomplishment – and clearly they’re pushing a lot of people’s buttons to earn themselves that aforementioned accolade. But they managed to achieve something I’ve never before experienced at a gig – a surprising, intense and to all intents and purposes interesting musical tour-de-force that was at the same time so thoroughly uninspiring that I started to wonder what I might be missing on TV. I swear I even caught the keyboardist with his head in his hands at one point.
Maybe external factors were to blame. I’m sure my fellow gig-goers would tell me that I simply missed the point. But I hope for my sake that if Delphic are going to be bothering us a lot more over the next twelve months they learn a few tricks along the way to make us want to take notice.
By Tegan Rogers