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Review: Dartz - Middlesbrough Uncle Alberts - 21/03/2009

Middlesbrough, voted ‘worst place to live in the UK’ by some daft TV show, it’s not known for many things; an average football team caught up in a relegation battle, a couple of ‘celebrities’ such as Roy Chubby Brown and Paul Daniels. As far as music goes, Middlesbrough’s success stories go as far as Chris Rea and Maximo Park. But, if you dig a bit deeper, Middlesbrough has a pretty lively music scene, and leading the pack is Dartz!

Dartz are label mates of Frank Turner, Stapleton, The Xcerts et al in the UK, and even share the same US label as Fightstar. For those who haven’t heard the band, they play the whole indie pop with woo’s, handclaps and gang vocals that bands like Tellison and Data Select Party are loved for, Dartz aren’t jumping on the bandwagon though, with a history spanning back years they’re practically driving the bandwagon.

The band are set to go a pretty vast European tour stopping at countries ranging from France to Italy, to Denmark to Germany, and most countries inbetween. The problem is they haven’t played a show since 2008, so they treat fans to a free hometown show to tighten up their set in time for the Europe trip. The band are playing in a pretty small venue, but it’s absolutely packed out, there’s not much space to move, the crowd consists of people from just about every ‘scene’ there is, the age range covers everyone from 18 to 40, no joke, all united for the love of one band.

The set is tight, and you would be forgiven for thinking that the band had just returned from tour, nevermind not playing for close to four months. The set covers most material, there’s songs from the critically acclaimed debut album ‘This Is My Ship’ with songs like ‘A Simple Hypothetical’ and ‘Laser Eyes’ getting the best reception from fans. They play a couple of songs from the not so critically acclaimed new EP ‘The Sad Story Of The Village Of Alnerique’ which sound great and still get a good reception from the crowd, pff what do critics know anyway? They also chuck in a rare song or two with B side ‘Latin And Greek’ getting applause from the more elitist fans.

The band end on a high with fan favourite, and their most successful song to date ‘Once, Twice, Again’ which is a song that pretty much sums up what the band are all about in roughly three superb minutes. There’s no denying that Dartz are a great band both live and on record, and it’s quite an injustice that this band aren’t absolutely massive. If you haven’t heard them I definitely recommend you get a hold of the bands releases, you can thank me later.

Dartz are sure to go down an absolute storm on their European jaunt if tonight is anything to go by. Bonne Chance Dartz! Au Revoir.

Songs and tour dates can be found at:

Daniel Ferguson

Alter The Press!