A band like Deee-Lite is not only a rare gem from a distinct era. They are a distillation of the idea of the nineties, visually and sonically, and big hits like “Groove Is In The Heart” feel definitive of the decade: Deee-Lite is the nineties.
While they were a popular band, you would assume that limited people were able to see them in their prime performing Deee-Lite as Deee-Lite, without any interruption by the music or entertainment industries. What did that look like? Thanks to Hint Fashion Magazine, we have a peek into this lo-fi neon world. The publication posted a video of the band performing at the 1990 Wigstock.
The video is a near eight minute jettison of gyrating hips and high kicks, all in a very tiny room that has frontwoman Lady Miss Kier skipping back and forth as she sings “Groove Is In The Heart” and other Deee-Lite james. There are various big wigged dancers and adorable choreography that, while rehearsed, is as formalized as it is natural. It’s like someone walked in on a group of people dancing in the street, tied a velvet rope around them, and then called it a performance. It’s so great.
As the video notes, this performance is from the year that Deee-Lite became Deee-Lite, hence the incredible and infectious underground energy. While it is excessive, sure, there is a great simplicity and underthinking in this performance presentation: let’s have more of this, please. More performers should just dance around with a boombox and sing on occasion: full bands are totally overrated! As Skin Town noted, this video inspires some major live set goals.