East London quintet Dexters kicked off their tour promoting debut album Shimmer Gold at Southampton’s own Joiners Arms. Support on the night came from local Britpop outfit The Rising, and equally local Fever. Dexters hour on the diminutive stage was a relentless tour of their anthem packed debut, with the only rest bite in the form of the eponymous ‘Shimmer Gold’, where arms a plenty waved in the air and front man Tom Rowlett puffed away on the harmonica.
Formed in 2011, they have supported the likes of The Twang, Courteeners and Reverend and The Makers. The youthful vitality and vigor of Shimmer Gold required a step into the limelight to showcase the lovelorn, youthful nostalgia of their record. Confident and energetic live performances promised a treat for those in attendance, how would the fledgling outfit fare on their own as the main attraction?
Admittedly the crowd was apprehensive at first; being the first date of their nationwide tour Dexters had yet to set a precedent for their inaugural work. However the raw energy and visceral exuberance soon won the audience over, inviting them to the very front of the confined Joiners, it seemed as though it would burst at the seams.
Making the stage his own, often on its very edge and at risk of falling into the crowd, Rowlett belted out the lung busting catchy hooks. Guitarists Chris Heggie, Ben Debo and bassist Vincent Dignan provided the captivating riffs, leaving drummer Chris Mardon on rib cage shaking rhythm duties. The depth of track ‘Oceans’ hypnotized the crowd, then quickly whipped them up in frenzy thanks to the heart pounding efforts of Heggie and Debo’s guitars, seemingly coming out of nowhere.
The acoustics of Southampton’s famous venue provided the perfect platform for a punchy punk, melodic indie sound that’s hard to pin down, the love child of The Strokes and The Clash with the exuberant energy to match. Their November released single ‘Start to Run’ had the crowd singing along in tandem, as did the impossibly infectious ‘Recover’. This enthusiasm from the crowd wasn’t lost in translation and was returned in kind (in the words of lead singer Rowlett) ‘thank you, we love you’. There was a real sense those in attendance were a part of something, a new beginning as Dexter’s look to bring this fine form to the rest of the country as they embark on the rest of their tour. Such a vibrant and rampant start bodes well for the five-piece.