It had been just over four years since I last saw Doves so I was pretty keyed up for last night’s gig. Maybe it was the expectations but I felt that while the gig overall was certainly a solid performance, at times the band seemed a little flat. In fact, most of these moments came early in the set (thankfully after a perfectly nailed Jetstream) as drummer Andy Williams seemed to struggle keeping time on the drums; I told myself I wasn’t hearing things correctly but then I read the SMH’s George Palathingal’s review of Doves first Sydney gig on Wednesday and he noticed it as well.
Thankfully, the band and the show got stronger as the gig progressed. Pounding totally lived up to its name (Andy managed to keep in time here) and was one of the highlights of the night. I think I had forgotten how great that song is.
I was a bit letdown that the band didn’t delve into any of Kingdom Of Rust’s second half. Spellbound and Compulsion in particular would have been welcome, especially considering some of the other new songs didn’t quite hit the highs they do on the record (I’m looking at you, The Outsiders). Having said that, Kingdom of Rust was absolutely fantastic. Delivered with passion by the band, it was greeted by the crowd as if it was an old classic.
The main set ended with one of my favourite Doves tracks (still after all these years), The Cedar Room. The band then left the stage before returning for a pretty spectacular encore. They started with Lost Souls‘ moody instrumental Firesuite (!!!) before Andy stepped out from behind the drums to deliver Here It Comes. The show then ended with a couple songs from The Last Broadcast culminating in another anthemic, percussive performance of There Goes The Fear. How can you not love that song?
Was it a spectacular gig? Nope. But it was certainly enjoyable. Which, come to think about it, is pretty much what I think about Doves.
Almost Forgot Myself
The Greatest Denier
Kingdom Of Rust
Black And White Town
The Cedar Room
Here It Comes
There Goes The Fear
Last night’s bonus were two support acts I was keen to check out. First up were Townsville’s The Middle East. I’d heard so much about this band but I had yet to check them out live myself so I made sure I got down to the Metro early. While I’m not sure they lived up to the absolutely over-the-top things I’ve seen written about them elsewhere, I was still pretty damn impressed at times (the last song in particular totally kicked ass). While a couple of the songs hung around a bit too long and a couple meandered into samey territory, I really enjoyed their set. As I was watching all six of them up there on stage swapping instruments (flute! trumpet! accordion! banjo!) I kept thinking that this could be the most talented young band I’ve seen in a while. They show so much promise it’s crazy. If you’re reading this blog you’ve probably already heard this but I’ll say it anyway: Watch out for The Middle East.
Up next were Adelaide’s Leader Cheetah. While they didn’t grab me the way The Middle East did, they played an enjoyable, if unspectacular, set. Still intrigued me enough to make sure I give their album a proper listen soon.
Alright…I need to get out the door.