DIIV + Chasity @ The Crossing, Birmingham, UK – 28th February 2020

Review and Photography by Robert Barrett

Its been four long years since the New York shoe-gazers DIIV payed a visit to the UK. Back in 2016, they played their last gig in the UK during a very troubled time for the band. Cancelling the rest of the tour all over Europe due to “Urgent Health Issues”, we still didn’t realise their continued battle with drug addiction, and the toll it took on the the bands’ relationship. Thankfully they are back four years later and still in one piece,  supporting their latest album ‘Deceiver’ to see in the New Year. Written about this tumultuous time in the band’s history. Does this new improved DIIV still hold the same charm? 

Support act Chasity was an unusual starter.  The sound was somewhere between the dreamy guitars of DIIV and strong pop punk sensibilities. At the beginning of their set the crowd was sparse but by the end the room had filled and everyone was ready for DIIV.

I’m pleased to report that the time off had only benefitted DIIV’s performance. Opening with “Horsehead” and classic “Skin Game” it was apparent the band had a newfound energy. 

If you’ve been to a DIIV gig you know Cole Smith always introduces the band by saying  “Hi we’re DIIV from New York City”, and tonight was no exception. However this was one of the only recognisable elements from the old sets. With his long blond hair gone, Cole has nothing to hide behind and seems more confident in himself and the music. 

As the dreamy riff from “Bent (Roy’s Song)” landed the band we’re in their stride. Unlike the last time they were here they seemed to be having fun on stage, smiling and bouncing off each other.

Even when the familiar bass line of “Doused” kicked in, they lost none of the momentum. “We listened to a lot of Birmingham bands whilst making this album” mused Cole in one of the many unexpected crowd banter that filled the set. I can only assume he meant brummie legends Black Sabbath, as the new material had a heavy metal like edge to it.

By the time “Dust” hit, mosh pits and crowd surfers had taken over. As they left the stage I felt enormously joyous to have seen the band rise out of the ashes like this. I hope in four more years I will be writing another review for the next time they return. There’s more charm to this version of DIIV, long may it continue.

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