Venue: Scala Date: 01/07/09 Sometimes seeing a band live is akin to moving into the next part of a relationship, the make or break; a disappointing gig can lead to an irrevocable falling out, bitterness, name-calling, or at the extreme end, hatred. Though on the other side, you can discover a new found admiration, and fall deeper in love than ever before. Thankfully, it is the latter with Deerhoof tonight, a healthy appreciation before tonight’s show becoming a deeper infatuation after. On a London night so warm and sticky you can kiss the air, it is a relief to get inside the Scala (thank you air-con), despite it being packed with perspiring indie folk. An expansive back catalogue of 10 albums is evenly distributed, and with many an elective song at sub three minutes, there is a lot able to be crammed in. Deerhoof Panda Panda Panda exudes ebullience, sugary vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki mimicking panda eyes and movement in time with the music. They’re perfect for onomatopoeia – the happy notes of Fresh Born in particular ‘Bum-te-da-boom-ba-ba’, and Spirits Ditties of No Tone in similar vein, which is quite epic live. As a unit they’re an awesome force, and individually too. Of a band of so many years, it is a delight to see each song treated in such a joyous manner; the ‘Hoof are so playful and melodic in sounds and performance you can’t stop grinning like a cretin throughout. Whilst at the same time their indie rock intelligence shines through, a perfect synergy. There’s so much love for raw drummer Greg Saunier the audience threaten to reach levels of screaming-girls-at-a-Boyzone-concert-fandom. In between songs he awkwardly saunters up to the mike to do the talking, and comes across as the humblest musician - nay, human - in the world. He needn’t be, as Sainier is a ball to watch on the skins, thrashing them to an inch of their lives as the whole kit quivers and shakes. Superb. Deerhoof Hits such as +81 are excellently applied, and during Basket Ball Get Your Groove On the lights are turned down as Matsuzaki dances whilst holding a neon disco Basketball. At one point Deerhoof hold their guitars aloft for a few minutes to feedback as they exaggeratedly walk in slow motion around the stage, whilst John Dieterich mimics Matsuzakis poses and moves - there’s just too much fun to be had. Organised chaos at it’s best. A double encore is a reward for the smiling crowd, finishing on instrumental of old Rainbow Silhouette of the Milky Rain – a fitting end given their previous existence. A couple of covers are thrown in too, including Canned Heat’s Goin’ Up the Country which features Sainier stepping up to the front again, but this time as a vocalist rather than spokesman. Despite the idiosyncrasies, you never get the feeling they are going to drown in their own tweeness, as they’re so musically on top of their game. Cacophonous, raw but always sharp and melodic. You get the point; they were beyond superlatives. The perfect fix for filling a post-Glastonbury musical replacement. ‘You are now in a relationship with Deerhoof’. MP3: Deerhoof - First Born