Written by Malvika Padin
We got the opportunity to check out two-piece rockers Diet Cig at their gig at Rough Trade in Nottingham.
Kicking off a Friday the 13th night the right way, the gig begins with Diet Cigs support act, Scottish band, The Spook School, who -with a name fit for the occasion – get the audience pumped and the venue packed with their punchy punk rock tracks such as Binary and Burn Masculinity, taken from their 2015 album Try to be Hopeful.
A mix of indie punk, reminiscent of Joanna Gruesome, Tuff Love and SPORTS, and classic punk bands such as The Buzzcocks – the four-piece made up of Nye Todd, Adam Todd (both on guitar), Anna Cory (bass), and Niall McCamley(drums)- explore themes of gender and sexuality in their lyrics. While musically speaking their sound – a brand of DIY garage pop – may not be particularly original, the lyricism of tracks like Burn Masculinity – “I’ll never be as strong as my mother” – make for unforgiving statement regarding the outdated notion of masculinity. And it is with their honest lyrics that The Spook School establish themselves as a band with something important to say. Besides the stand out lyrics, the band’s live sound- of scratchy guitars and up-tempo drumming – make them a perfect support act for Diet Cig.
Diet Cig themselves consist of Alex Luciano (guitar/vocals) and Noah Bowman (drums), with their energetic mood and powerful performances, make for an impactful duo. With a set of songs taken from their recently released full-length album, Swear I’m Good at This (2017) and their EP Over Easy (2015), they make a lot of noise with their uncontained energy.
Starting off with the tender Sixteen – which is a quiet song that’s mostly just Alex’s vocals and her guitar, then came Apricots – delicate and short. After these softer, calmer sounds, begins the hype with pop numbers like Maid of the Mist to the energetic indie-pop track Harvard– which seemed an audience favourite. From beginning to end, the duo keeps their listener’s rapt attention.
Alex – who prior to Diet Cig had never picked up a guitar – is a joy to watch. Lively and enthusiastic, she is a natural performer who leaps and dances around the stage in gleeful abandon. Her vocals – stable, clear – make the live performance just as good if not better than the recorded versions.
With gutsy lyrics – that are both funny and vulnerable – catchy hooks, thrashing drums and strums the duo compelling performers who make you want to scream lines in unison with them (even if you don’t know the lyrics!).
Badass and relatable, you can tell that this band – with their warming stage presence- are here to have fun and to be an inspiration through their craft.
Diet Cig – with their incredible crowd interaction – are definitely a great act to catch live.
The band are currently on their UK tour, find information on tour dates and tickets here.
You can check out Diet Cig’s Harvard below.
Picture Credit: @Equirk & BristolLiveMag