Dinosaur Pile-Up – Scala, London, 18th February, 2014


Scala probably hasn’t overflowed with as much testosterone recently as when Nine Inch Nails performed their one-off show in the iconic venue last Summer. But for Dinosaur Pile-Up, a jubilant crowd of mainly male teens were the sweaty, angry bulk occupying the joint, wearing either their DP-U t-shirts or sporting paraphernalia from a wide range of bands such as Pixies beanies and Nirvana-imprinted bags.

In the tight clutch of the Scala’s floor, a few girls could be seen pushing their way to the front, swivelling nonchalantly towards the main attraction. On the higher floors, an older, less adventurous part of the audience watched the mosh pit below, much in the same way as Roman spectators used to watch gladiators tearing each other to shreds.

The set-up for the band takes the shape of a triangle, with guitar, bass and drums on each of the pointy angles. Illuminated by tall, blinding lights, bleach-haired Matt Bigland captures the audience as soon as he sets foot on the stage. Starting off quickly with ‘Arizona Waiting’ and ‘Peninsula’ from their latest album Nature Nurture, the crowd explodes. Each and every single lyric riding on the waves of lager and cider breath, the young crowd vivaciously make the tracks their own and engulf the band with moshing-open arms.

Dominating the crowd and alternating tracks from their first and second album, DP-U sucks any vital fluid out of the fans by making them totally engage by singing along and crowd surfing into nothing. Like zombies, they slur and repeat “rock’n’roll, rock’n’roll” during aptly named ‘My Rock’n’Roll’, and they also get down to the floor when Bigland demands it. They slowly prod towards the barrier at unison on tracks like ‘White T-Shirt and Jeans’, motioning carelessly, always under the band’s complete influence. It is raw, unadulterated, controlled chaos, with slurred bantering erupting at any drop of a riff and screeching female voices cutting through the air. With lyrics that evoke uneasiness, awkwardness, angst and finally acceptance  – like ‘Thread’ – it’s no wonder the band is so cherished by their young fans. DP-U are essentially the big bros we all dream of having.

After the more Foo Fighters-esque and possibly loudest trio of songs – ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Birds & Planes’ and ‘Traynor’ – the band leaves the stage. Bigland returns a few minutes later for an encore, and with ‘The Way We Came’, reaches the quietest point of the night. Wearing an impractical sweat-inducing jumper, and only accompanied by a guitar and the howls of the crowd of Lost Boys, the track is the chance for an intimate moment and a rest for the audience.

Finally, with the trio back on stage, ‘Nature Nurture’ completely tears the house down, paired with an inflatable dinosaur and footballs in the crowd. Crowning the band’s biggest UK gig, and final show before they hit the US, Bigland ends up climbing on the sound mix cabinet and leaps into the loving arms of the crowd.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.