Live: Dumb w/ Those Rotten Thieves

As 2013 got under way four childhood friends were given a wake-up call by the spotlight on the music scene in their native Birmingham and decided to build on their formative years of gigging and songwriting and take their music seriously to form Dumb.

“The whole limelight on Birmingham provoked starting Dumb a few months ago,” explains singer Dylan Williams. “It made us think let’s do this properly rather than just being a band of friends.”

“It’s made it seem a lot more possible,” agrees guitarist Tom Minchin. “When we were younger we were like ‘it would be great but realistically…’”

If anything, Dumb’s first months in existence have backed up that new found belief that being successful musicians is within the realms of possibility. For their first ever gig the band went straight to the prestigious stage of London’s KOKO and the legendary Club NME night before returning home to headline Birmingham’s O2 Academy 3.

Meanwhile, their debut single ‘Dive’ set out their stall in April, distinguishing the band from the rest of what their hometown was offering. Influenced by Pixies and cult American indie rock heroes Built To Spill, its bold and brash combination of self-assured swagger, slick melodies and Dylan’s rasping vocals caught the attention of the likes of NME and BBC Radio 1.

“For years quite a lot of indie bands were quite held back and twangy,” Tom reasons. “We thought we’d turn it all up to ten. We don’t want anything to sound too small. I know it’s a bit crude or garish but we like everything to be in your face.”

Next single ‘Retina’ continues that mission statement, an explosive riot of squalling guitars and cocksure attitude. Out Autumn 2013, the third single in Dumb’s triptych, ‘Still I’m Stuck’, marks further progression still as the rhythm section of drummer Jacob McQue and bassist Adam Pyzer provide the driving force for the track.

Despite the steady but bright start of the band’s life and praise received thus far, Dumb aren’t getting above their stations just yet. Level headed and with simple aims they are, as Dylan states, taking it as it comes and enjoying the opportunities flowing their way. For now, they’re concentrating on building on the foundations they’ve already laid and gaining more live experience on support tours later in the year. Diligent, hard-working and musically dexterous, Dumb are about to establish themselves as one of the country’s most promising new bands.