DPU@ Newcastle Think Tank, July 3 2013

Once hailed as the leaders of a post-90s grunge revolution, Dinosaur Pile-Up have stepped back from that area to deliver the ‘less rock, more pop’ RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 album Nature Nurture.

In the live arena, however, they are still very much creatures of the 90s and deliver a performance that would please many of those who still ache for the days of long messy hair and lyrics delivered more in a drawl than a song. 

And DP-U frontman Matt Bigland could be the very incarnation of grunge’s poster boy, Kurt Cobain. His hair covered his eyes as he delivered the lyrics to his songs with the sort of laid back, animalistic growl that became the staple of the genre.

Engaging with the crowd isn’t high on his agenda but he does reserve a small amount of time to talk to his devotees – even telling them a story about how a throat problem caused him to worry about having to cancel the gig and his subsequent trip to a Byker walk-in centre to try and sort it out.

According to Bigland, this was their first headline tour that people ‘actually gave a shit about.’ And throughout the performance DP-U looked like a band genuinely grateful to have a chance to perform in front of their fans.

The majority of those fans seemed to have been drawn in on the back of Nature Nurture – songs like Heather (which they opened with) and Derail caused more of a stir from the crowd then the band’s older material, which elicited muted mutual appreciation – despite the best efforts of the hardcore fans raving at the front.

It was still a crowd pleasing setlist, though, as it contained many or all of the songs that fans wanted to hear – including tunes like Birds and Planes from DP-U’s first album.

On certain songs, however, the sheer volume of the instruments caused Bigland’s voice to be drowned out – something fairly easy to do given his lyrical delivery.

DP-U closed out the set with two of the best songs on NN – Arizona Waiting and Nature Nurture and it was during this double salvo that you saw what the band is truly about. Their second album may have strayed off the grunge tracks slightly, but deep down inside these three have never left the bright lights of the 90s.

Russell Hughes