Daviis in The Grand Social, Dublin, on 27th January 2018

The upstairs room in The Grand Social can be one of the best rooms in Dublin on its night. It all comes down to the band and the crowd. Tonight the band is Daviis and the crowd is initially scarce.

Outsider is the first of three acts on the night. His stripped back acoustic set is accompanied by just a single backing singer. If anything the minimalism of his set showcases the strength of his song writing, his cyclical chords patterns evoke peak Tom Petty while the backing vocals add an extra depth to the all round performance.

Next up is the bone-bending funk of ZaPho, her powerful vocals hung round the programmed beats of her multi-tasking guitarist. It’s all propelled along nicely by chunky bass lines dished out with all the head movement of an aggressive Tara Street pigeon; groove-propelled gutter funk in the tradition of Betty Davis’ most raucous 70’s output and the swelling crowd loves every bit of it. The songs shift from funk to house to psychedelic rock and back again, the common denominator being the powerfully soulful vocals, a truly dynamic set.

By the time Daviis arrive on stage there’s a healthy crowd in attendance. Opener Dots sounds a little like a dirtier version of Dirty Diana. It’s immediately apparent that this is a band growing in confidence; everything from stage presence to delivery has been bolstered over the course of the last year. Right from the first song the crowd is fully engaged, there are even hints of a slightly harder edge than previous live shows.

As the band launches into crowd favourite Eager the refrain of “Who are you?” echoes round the room, as heads frantically bop to the point where hipster hats barely perched on the crown on hipster heads are in danger of falling off completely. There are hipsters in attendance because Daviis are to all intents and purposes actually quite hip.

Love, Hate and Drugs is another song that elicits a positive reaction from the crowd, and the same goes for You and Me. It’s a sign of the band’s growing popularity that so many of their songs are already established with their audience despite them being yet to release their debut record.

On the evidence of the last year Daviis are a band developing at an exponential rate in all departments. If you haven’t seen them live yet keep an eye out for any upcoming shows, they’ve got the ability to fill the venue with their own infectious energy.

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