Dirty Thrills / Digital Criminals - Abertillery, The Dolls House - 7th May 2016 Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Williams   
Friday, 20 May 2016 03:20

Dirty Thrills are down from the big smoke once more, hitting the valleys to prepare the ground ahead of their appearance at this year’s Steelhouse Festival. Tonight they are joined by home grown talent in one of South Wales’ hottest young bands Digital Criminals.


Dirty Thrills Poster 2


The Criminals hit the stage in their distinctive post apocalypse blue tribal face paint and immediately make an impact. They have a dark sound containing jagged angular riffs reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails and Tool and are fronted by a singer who has an arena sized stage presence.


While the songs have a dark undertone they also possess that most vital of song writing qualities, great hooks, and they come thick and fast. ‘Bury Your Head’, ‘Dark Days’ and ‘If This Is Love’ all have choruses that pull you in from the minute you hear them. Singer Emily Bates not only has the voice and stage presence but audience presence too, wasting no time in getting out amongst the crowd in her illuminated trainers, if the crowd are initially reluctant to come to the front of the stage early in the night it’s really not a problem because she goes out to them!


Along with their fine stage craft Digital Criminals are also a very tight band, the songs driven along by Jade Balls’ powerful drumming and complimented by some excellent guitar and bass interplay. The songs have an industrial edge there’s also a nod to prog metal to keep things interesting. The set closes with two more excellent tunes ‘Sink Down Low’ and ‘Move It’, and in turn warming the crowd up in fine style for the headliners.


Digital Criminals as a band are the full package, a four piece who, for the moment, are bringing a stadium show to your local music venue, and with luck and a fair wind we might well see them grace those larger stages yet.


Dirty Thrills


As for Dirty Thrills these guys are turning into regular visitors to the Principality and seem to picking up more new fans on every visit. The band have a more traditional hard rock sound than their support act, with a riff driven sound which draws on two of the finest exponents of the style, Led Zeppelin and Rage Against The Machine.


The band open with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ taken from their self-titled debut album a record which features heavily in their set. The band are locked in and tight as they come, clearly the road miles they are clocking up are paying off. Louis James has a first class rock voice, up there with Myles Kennedy and Robert Plant when he was still wearing his trousers tight. He too has the stage presence, and for me The Temperance Movement’s Phil Campbell no longer holds the title of Britain’s best young frontman as many suggest!


The highlights of the set were ‘Resume Regret’, ‘Reign’ and single ‘HourGlass’ and during the encore the band stretch out ‘Sigh’ into an extended jam driven along by bassist Aaron Plows throwing his best Spinal Tap shapes.


There is much to look forward to when the Dirty Thrills boys hit the stage at the Steelhouse Festival in July.