Du Blonde - Bodega, Nottingham - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Du Blonde - Bodega, Nottingham

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2011-12-17

It’s a hot June evening in Nottingham so when Beth Houghton – or Du Blonde as she’s now dubbed herself - comes out in a huge faux fur coat she must be sweltering. Later, we’ll see that she and her cohorts have adopted something of a uniform in the shape of red shirts, looking slightly like they might be entertainers at a holiday park. As if to put this to bed, they launch into the new catalogue of heavy music; raw riffs and intense vocals.

It’s a far cry from the meek, guitar holding songstress act which she put on before. This feels more honest and she obviously looks far more confident having the control she’s taken. Stalking front and centre, there is plenty of energy radiating from her and her bandmates in this riff-heavy new set.

The stage at The Bodega is fairly small, so you’d have to imagine she might be better suited to prowling larger stages under this new moniker. ‘Blag Flag’ is her single and the stand-out song in the set. She bellows deeply, forgoing the crooning diva she's expected to be, and seems to take great pleasure on her other songs in lashing out at the restricting nature of the industry she works in. We’re treated to a Pixies cover (‘Where is My Mind’), which could be far more personal than we know given her revelation that she felt like she was “going insane” when she underwent her metamorphosis.

In tonight's Welcome Back to Milk-heavy set, Beth feels almost like the punkish rocker Gwen Stafani always wanted to be, with a bit of Lady Gaga’s fashion sense to boot. With that said, you’d be hard pressed to give any contemporaries to whom you could actually compare her. This is a thunderous reinvention, and while the songs could be better, the sound she’s aiming for could also do with a bigger setting.

All in all, it’s a good evening’s entertainment but the songs don’t really sit long in the memory, suggesting the hook-based rock influences probably need to come to the fore just that little bit more. This newly hatched animal needs a bigger cage and some bigger songs to get its claws into.

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