In naming their recently released album Performance, Texan psych-garage stalwarts White Denim have really put a finer point on their reputation as one of the tightest and thrilling live bands working. It’s clear when you see them that it’s also because they just love to perform, and on Wednesday in London they played three times – not showing one microcosm less enthusiasm on the final show of the night.

From the opening ‘Sky Beaming’, James Petralli’s body was jerking with each undulating riff, his chin thumping out with each reliable beat from his intrepid rhythm section of bassist Steven Terebecki and drummer Conrad Choucroun. Any thoughts that this would be just an opportunity for White Denim to show off material from the new album were quickly blown out of the water by the unstuttering unleashing of ‘Real Deal Momma’ as second track. People surged down the front to get closer to the energy, enticed by Petralli’s unreal fingerwork as he solo’d his way through a few more cuts from Performance. The band’s bluesy elements infused the baying audience with a desire to dance, but the density of bodies meant that only twisting on the spot was a viable option – which people did with a vehemence that suggests they were pretty much forced to by White Denim’s sheer live power.

This show, despite being their third of the day, was not to be a quick in and out for White Denim, and the dancing soon became entrancement as they took us on a deep and long psychedelic mid-section of the set. Many of the songs bled together into a tapestry of sounds and rhythms, the band only stopping to chat a couple of times, but mostly just happy to let the psych train roll on unheeding, propelling the audience’s bodies and limbs through psychic space with them.

Recent single ‘Magazin’, saved for the middle part of the set, was every part the strutting energy re-builder you’d hope, its chunky riffs and organ seemingly lifting the audience with ease. This was just in time for a scorching run including ‘Fine Slime’, ‘Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)’ and ‘Mirrored In Reverse’ played in a frantic trio, which should surely have drained the last of the energy from the performers, but 75 minutes into their set they weren’t even thinking about finishing yet.

Once they started to ask the audience for requests, the floodgates soon opened, with their seeming ability to play the majority of their deep catalogue (just compare the setlists from the matinee and evening shows). They obliged as many as they could, and promised to learn the others before they come back in February.

Speaking of which, they play the Roundhouse on their return, a venue many times the size of MOTH Club, but one which they will have absolutely no problem in filling with their explosive and mind-expanding sound, based on this performance. The majority of the audience from these shows have probably already booked their place, as after 90+ minutes of endless rocking, and a set-capping double header of ‘Shake Shake Shake’ and ‘Pretty Green’, there was still a tangible thirst for much more psych in the thick and sweaty air.

Set list:

Sky beaming
Real Deal Momma
Backseat Driver
Shake 3X(excerpt)
Moves on
Double Death
There’s a brain in my head
Thank You
River to Consider
It’s Him
At the farm
Say what you want
Magazin
Fine Slime
Ha Ha Ha Ha yeah
Mirrored in Reverse
Reversed Mirror
Drug
Performance
Place to start
Bess St
Shake Shake Shake
Pretty Green