Delphic held the privilege of headlining The Great Escape’s Friday night at The Corn Exchange, an honour shared with the festival’s main act the following evening, Groove Armada. So what makes Delphic so worthy of basking in the same level of exposure as that seasoned and unquestionably talented duo? At their best, Delphic really do invoke a sense of awe, marrying the two holy disciplines of guitar music and dance music in perfect harmony, in a blending of genres that so many bands attempt but ultimately fail to achieve. In the way that previously ‘innovative’ acts like the Klaxons, Hadouken and Bloc Party have made indie music a digital and dancey experience appropriate to play in clubs, Delphic played some tunes that elicited not only the karaoke-type crowd response usually found at The Kooks gigs, but also the shape-making, dance-inspiring beats of a Digitalism or Simian Mobile Disco set – a pretty tough, yet potent combination. When the marriage worked, things were beautiful: just enough lyrics to avoid dull repetition but also a filthy bassline and beat, which is all anyone really wants. In moments like this, it is clear that Delphic love making music and know exactly what they’re doing; making it unfortunate that at times they seemed totally lost.
These genuine sparks of innovation and immaculate production only lasted to the mid-point of the performance - the end of the 45 minute gig was actually quite boring. So many of the songs simply failed to capture that spark that made the first few songs work so well, as it became clear that with even the smallest of imbalances (too many vocals, not enough bass), the aforementioned marriage began to fail miserably. For all the band’s skill and talent, it was evident that if you took away the strobe lights and huge crowd you would have a very ordinary band that only hinted at glimmers of excellence. They certainly have the ability it seems; sustaining across a full set is the problem.