If there was ever a local band that could put Stoke-on-Trent in people’s good books, then it has to be Delamere. After signing to Scruff Of The Neck Records in 2014, Delamere have been taking on the world, one gig at a time. In five days time, they’ll drop their debut album in a church in Leek and the repercussions will be massive.
‘Delamere’ by Delamere is a true testament to the band, whose sound has morphed into something much bigger than what they started out with, when they originally began. Consisting of James Fitchford on guitar, keys and vocals, Ashley Egerton on guitar, Richard Dawson on bass and Will Mason on drums and electronics, Delamere are really on top of their game and this album proves it.
Opening with ‘Bright Young Things’, originally released back in March last year, it’s already evident that Delamere have put together something special. Without knowing what the rest of the album has to offer, ‘Bright Young Things’ makes you want to listen on, just to see if they can keep up with this strong opener. ‘Regress’ certainly lives up to this expectation. With vocals that sound as though they’re trapped in a bubble, and an electrifying synth foundation, two songs in and I’m already hooked.
‘So Long’ has a darker sexier feel to it. Fitchford’s vocals are at their best here and when he tells you to “keep on trying”, you can’t help but listen to him. Fitchford’s vocals posses that kind of power throughout the whole album, remaining a significant aspect of the overall Delamere sound. ‘Kill It’ is no different. I remember hearing this for the first time on The Quiet Revolution, Moorlands Radio, and it was clear from that first listen that this would be the best version of Delamere we’ve heard so far. ‘Kill It’ builds gradually in the verses through the synth, running along with the pace of the track with ease, before being launched into the air to form something big and beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, ‘Black And White Space’ also falls under that umbrella in a way that can’t be described, but I’ll try my best. When I hear this song, I imagine a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns evolving and folding into each other. It’s a weird way to imagine a piece of music, but ‘Black And White Space’ is possibly their strongest and definitely my favourite track.
‘Heart’ leaves you feeling lifted with it’s colossal chorus and opening drum beat, that pins itself to the inside of track, stretching all the way to the end. In the final moments, the guitar bounces between your ears before ending abruptly in a high pitched whirl of the synth and guitar melody. I can’t wait to hear this one live.
As the album enters its final few songs, it’s important to note that the energy level is still sky high, although ‘Woods’ brings it back down momentarily. Fitchford’s powerful vocals can be heard as clear as day, pushing the song forwards and giving what is a relatively tame track, a thick slice of eery reverb action. In contrast, ‘Headstrong’ brings back the full band sound. It’s another quality live contender, although something tells me that Delamere could play any of these tracks live and they’d all be equally as good.
‘Betty Boop’ contains the grooviest bass line of the bunch. Whether it be alone in your kitchen or at the front of the stage, ‘Betty Boop’ will have you dancing; letting go and forgetting your troubles, one move at a time. You won’t be moving for too long however, as final track ‘Rain’ brings everything back down to a kind of music middle ground. You probably won’t be able to cut loose to this track, but what you will be able to do is sit and listen to Delamere do their thing.
And what a thing it is. ‘Delamere’ is an exciting collection of ten of the strongest, punchiest, in-your-face tracks that the band have produced to date. It goes without saying that Delamere, complete with signature synth sounds, electrifying guitars, stomping drums, badass bass and stadium sized vocals, are going to be the next best thing Stoke has to offer. Let yourself fall in love with this album and, more importantly, let yourself love Delamere.