Live Review: Delilah Bon with support from Try Me & Storm St Claire at The Exchange, Bristol on 24-09-22



Bristol's premier eclectic alternative venue hosts an unforgettable show

It’s always interesting to see musicians explore themselves through their art and create an alter ego for them to create new sounds and styles to perform, even if the results are hit and miss. For every Slim Shady, there’s Garth Brooks with Chris Gaines. Reading her zine after the show, it seems for Lauren Tate, most known for her work in grunge outfit Hands Off Gretel, becoming her rap punk creation, Delilah Bon, was very easy after writing these songs to take out her frustrations. Songs detailing rape culture, empowering women, her tenacity against negativity, and more, have become successful since her self-titled debut record was released in 2021. With this, and the success of the protest anthem, Dead Men Don’t Rape online, it only seemed natural to take these songs on the road and perform them across the UK, including a stop at Bristol’s Exchange venue, known for hosting eclectic alternative styles, including 2021’s 80 Trees Festival. Even after a VERY long journey and traffic problems hindering their arrival into the new ‘it’ city, did that affect the performance?

To begin the show, alt pop artist Storm St Claire took to the stage first, opening the set with her boppy single NO ONE. Decorating the stage with Hell Bunnies and Bratz dolls, a sight not uncommon to this writer, Storm created their own playhouse with a large space to dance and sing, even though only they and their laptop were on stage. Even fans, unsure of what to expect, slowly warmed to their infectious energy and pounding sounds with beautiful lyrics that they created themselves. In some regards, their set was larger than the already large stage they were performing on. With other gems like Blood Pour, Permanent, Puppet Master, and Miss Behaviour glittering the set list, the show kicked off strongly and brought up the energy for everyone inside. Keep the name Storm St Claire in your mind, they’re a gem to watch live and their music is insane in all the right ways, with a lot more coming down the pipeline.

Up next were Bristol’s very own Try Me, delivering what can only be described as Salt-N-Pepa meets The Cheeky Girls, in the most complimentary way possible – their alternative funk style with a side of humour and sarcasm showcased a fun duo that could riff on anything and everything, including the need for food in Heavy Lunch. With other incredible sounding tracks to dance and jump to, like World Of Instancy and Road Runner, Try Me had the remarkable feat of getting the crowd to jump up and down to their sound AND laugh their heads off to their lyrics. If you’re looking for something fun with great beats and rhythms underneath, you’ll be in for a real treat anytime this duo makes that first step onto the stage.


Finally it was the turn of Delilah Bon, accompanied by the energetic bassist Reuna and dynamic DJ, Goldenaxe. With a message for the ‘girls, gays, and theys’ to party at the front, Delilah bounced around the stage between her bouncy and dynamic songs, the dark horror themes, and fiery lyrics fighting back against the misogynistic status quo that many people in the room have experienced first hand. All the songs were powerful, thought-provoking, and in cases like those from the Ready To Kill EP, darkly fun. From the bass-pounding riffs of Freak of the Week, which discusses having fun on a night out without creepy men coming on to them, all the way to the pounding sounds of the crowd shouting Dead Men Don’t Rape, every word shouted and sung hit deep with everyone in attendance. Many there had experienced cat-calling and “lonely walks home with your keys in your hands getting ready to chop dicks”, as described in the aptly named Chop Dicks. Most had gone through those around them discouraging them and being told to “stay in your place”, as spoken about in tracks Homework, School, and Bad Attitude. It gave everyone, on and off stage, a safe space where they could shout their anger and receive that support blanket. With the highlight on misogynistic violence for War On Women, Goldenaxe holding up a banner with the names of murdered women, Ruena’s bass saying WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED, and the fierce criticism for abortion rights in Dead Men Don’t Rape, Delilah speaks from the heart and stands up for what she believes in. It was truly a set to behold.


Not too long ago, I took part in a Twitter trend between all music writers and journalists where they asked their friends and followers to comment which bands they associate with them – mine were both Starbenders and Delilah Bon, for good reason. Not only is Delilah someone I resonate with, having played her tracks a lot on my radio show Forever Forté, but because the topics discussed in her music are something a lot of people, including myself, believe in heavily. With strong support as well, Delilah Bon delivered one of the best shows any music fan could hope to see and experience. If you’re already a fan of her work, either her album, the Ready To Kill EP, or both, it’s even better heard in a live setting. The creativity and drive behind this talented individual is on full display and should not be ignored any time soon. If you can, go out and experience a Delilah Bon show – you will not regret one second of it!


Photos by Marty Moffat




The Exchange



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