Since their last album, Everything's The Rush, went almost unnoticed when it was released in 2008, we'd all but forgotten about the Delays. With their incredible 2006 album, You See Colours, they became one of our favourite British bands, but their potential was never quite fulfilled.
Wednesday night saw the band back in town, playing The Borderline as part of a small UK tour, and premiering some of the material they're working on for their fourth album 'Star Tiger, Star Ariel'. The new tracks weren't instant classics, but the Delays' best songs have always been growers. After the lighter, more radio-friendly sound of Everything's The Rush, it seems the band are back to their original sound, liberated by their separation from the record company who released their last album. Tellingly, neither of the singles from Everything's The Rush made it onto last night's setlist, although several of the album tracks did.
The gig was a sellout, showing that the Delays still have a strong fanbase, which is no surprise for the band responsible for such masterpieces as 'Valentine' and their biggest hit 'Long Time Coming'. Electro-infused indie-pop may be one of the biggest trends of the late 00's, but the Delays' brand of it is unique thanks to its ethereal sound and lead singer Greg Gilbert's distinctive falsetto vocals. Gilbert's angelic looks were certainly another big attraction for the girls in the audience.
In a way, the Delays are a reflection of how the music industry is changing, with acts no longer needing mainstream success to keep going. No matter how many times they lose their record deal, they'll continue making new music and touring the UK until either they or their audience have had enough. If their new album has even a few songs as stunning as their previous highlights, that won't be happening any time soon.