DeVere / There Are Good Bands, And Then There Are The Great

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2024 is the year of the dragon. Though curious in its fierce significance to rock’s latest new hot thing, this mythical creature has nothing on the quartet currently storming into the industry. The band in question does make me wonder: is this the year of the dragon, or is this the year of DeVere?

DeVere

The Lower Third, London – 27 June 2024

Words: Monty Sewell

Photography: Steve Ritchie

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Playing The Lower Third – in one of London’s most musically significant locations, Denmark Street – DeVere have just returned from hitting the stage at Download festival. We were lucky enough to catch up with the guys a few days before their headlining London show, where the anticipation for the night was thick in the air like a rock ‘n’ roll viper coiled for the pounce.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

On the night of the gig, the venue is packed with the usual big-haired, leather-clad punters here for a rock-out good time. With just four singles out and a handful of sell-out shows under their arms, DeVere has cultivated a quickly growing, dedicated fanbase who no doubt will count themselves as the ones who were ‘there at the start’ once these rockers hit the big time.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The lineup stays strong within its original formation. Sam Cassidy is on vocals, Mike Wroe is on guitar, Will Vaughan is on bass, and George Love rounds up the band on drums. Their backdrop features huge amp stacks with lit-up strips across the stage and the feel of nothing less than a stadium-sized show about to be squeezed into this fine venue.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

With a thunderous hard-rocking residue pouring out of the Marshall stacks, we get the first chords of the unreleased song Nightmare. The crowd sweepingly lurches forward to get closer to the stage as the guys take to their instruments like battleaxes, already in the know of a win.

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DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Their latest single, Surrender, is played to perfection. The raw quality of their recordings is amplified onstage, with every drum beat that bit louder and every wail to the sky that much more thrilling. Cassidy sets every note ablaze, the archetype of a Heavy Metal singer who combines the nostalgic high octaves of ’80s rock with a growling intensity to claim as his own.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Burnout and Like Lightning mirror each other in the composition’s continued appreciation of flat-out, no-fuss rock-Metal greatness. Vaughan edges on the audience with his bass, standing like an imperishable force of rhythm.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

We get a mid-set guitar solo from the man with the best headbang-whilst-shredding in town himself. Wroe is a beast on the strings, captivating every conversation in the room as he sweeps and picks his way into even the coolest of metalheads’ hearts.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Then, there is a shift into more unreleased material with Eve and Deja Vu. If I could ask one thing of DeVere, it would be to stop teasing and give us the releases to take home. The quality of these tracks live is enough to make Mötley Crüe quiver in their snakeskin boots, so we eagerly await the recordings.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Love—metaphorically—whacks us all in the face with a raised platform drum solo. It adds to the show’s spectacle, reminding us that whether DeVere is playing in front of one hundred or one hundred thousand, they will put on a performance to the grandest of levels.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The final songs, Dead Before I Die and debut single Again, engage the audience into a frenzy of horns-up excitement. As someone next to me said, “My neck is going to kill tomorrow, but it is so worth it!” The encore screams paid off, and we got our final dose of DeVere in true style. Vaughan even comes back onstage with fake blood dripping down his chin. Rock ‘n’ damn roll, I say.

DeVere - The Lower Third - 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk
DeVere – The Lower Third – 27 June 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

As the band continues to climb the ladder – which stares down oh so enticingly at many – it is very true to say that there are good bands and there are great bands. Though the good respectably hold their own, there are very few who can really claim the title of great. But without a doubt, DeVere is one of those few.

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