The Balearic sound of the late ’80s and early’90s might have taken its name from the Mediterranean club scene in whichit was born, but it took a bunch of Brits to launch it into the mainstream. Pale types like Primal Scream,Happy Mondays and New Order travelled toIbiza, took industrial quantities of drugs and then made sun-kissed masterpieces like Screamadelica, Pills, Thrills ‘n’ Bellyachesand Technique – albums which proved that euphoric pianobridges and indie rock guitars were a marriage made in heaven.
Now, two decades on, the Balearic sound hascome home. Delorean hail from Zarautz,a seaside town in Spain, and their two most recent releases – last year’sAyrton Senna EP and this year’s Subiza full-length – have helped define the summerybeach party vibe that’s characterised much of the past year’s most enjoyable indiereleases.
Delorean’s music is probably best listened to onthe white sands of a Mediterranean beach. The challenge for the band during their brief Friday night set at theLexington was, therefore, how to successfully translate that summery sound tothe first floor of a north London pub. It’s a challenge the band met with ease.
Delorean started out as a straightforward indierock act, and Subiza is actually their fourth studio album. They still bear vestigesof their former, more conventional sound. The band sets itself up in a standard rock formation: drumkit at the back, vocalist in the centre flanked by a guitarist and keyboardplayer. Singer/bassist EkhiLopetegi delivers his lines with a high-pitched earnestness that’s almostemo-like. Apart from someenthusiastic pogo-ing from the keyboardist towards the end, the rest of the bandgo about their duties seriously and studiously.
What you get from Delorean the live band isessentially the Delorean recorded experience roughed up a little through theaddition of a live rhythm section and the occasional rave horn. And it works very well: the band (and,lest we forget, the venue’s sound mixers) do a good job of making sure thatevery element of Delorean’s sound is present and correct, meaning that thehouse-y keyboards and samples aren’t swallowed up by the bass and drums, nor viceversa.
The languid pace of opener Seasun gets headsbobbing appreciatively, but the faster paced likes of Real Love and Deliinspire full-blown dancing. By thetime the house diva vocals and funky guitars of Grow kick in, Delorean have thecrowd in their baggy pockets – there’s even some crowdsurfing.
Delorean might eventually stage more ambitiousshows than this. But, for the timebeing, they seem content to perform gigs that are a lot like regular rockshows, only loads more fun.