Oh la la its Derriere!

The set of Derriere’s video shoot, at Studio Ping Pong, was rocking, quite literally, when I arrived. From just scaffolding, Perspex, and in the case of the camera, what looked like an air conditioning unit, Studio Ping Pong had been transformed into a 1950s television studio. On a podium in the centre of a densely packed crowd of hipsters was lead singer Sarah Tonin, every inch the diva.

Four hours of intensive shimmying later and the video wrapped, Sarah explained Derriere’s evolution from live rockabilly act to retro renegades;  “When we first got together it was the height of the rockabilly revival and we found a ready-made audience, but during rehearsal we started sharing songs we loved, that we had grown up with, and our sound just morphed.”

Their single is evidence of what Sarah calls a ‘Derrierification’ of the sound of the late Fifties and early Sixties. Recorded in analogue to “capture the band, not just the music” as Sarah puts it, the track features bra-busting vocals and ballsy brass that proclaim a genre-bending sound, in equal parts joyful and heartbroken.

A couple of weeks later at the Blind Tiger Club for the single’s launch party, I was again greeted by spokes-diva Sarah, this time all of a quiver. She told me, “I should be resting my voice, but the realisation that we are not just playing, that it is our night… I should be aloof. I am off to be aloof”.  Ah bless, you never forget your first launch.

She needn’t have worried as from the first song their performance was cracking. The excitement was infectious and the crowd of supporters, Brighton faces and in-the-knows were along for the ride. The whole room was dancing, men and women alike, to a winner-packed set of reworked classics and vintage originals.

No matter how earthy the sound of the Battle Plan’s recording, Derriere are a band that really come alive on stage. Sarah Tonin’s voice is like a vocal assault and the band, comprised of Rosie Cheeks on saxophone, T Bone LeRhone on guitar, Blood Sugar Hill on bass and Redhand Mallon on drums, know their craft and their showmanship.

The sound was at once sinuous and guttural; Voodoo Working evoked the era of the femme fatale and Fool for Love had a Ronettes vibe that is well overdue a revival. But it was the single, Battle Plan, which got the best reaction. Some of the audience had been at the video shoot, so when the video was premiered, sufficed to say, there was a lot of love in that room.

With rumours of a record deal circulating and plans already afoot for an as yet unannounced follow up single, it seems that Derriere have their sights set on the big time, baby. A Battle Plan, indeed.

Battle Plan is out now on 45rpm vinyl at http://www.rarekindrecords.co.uk and on iTunes. You can check the band out at http://www.derrieremusic.com or catch them play in all of their live glory this Saturday at The Old Market theatre, Hove, the show will commence at 8pm.

Previously published in Pretty Litter

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