Oslo, Hackney, London.
I don’t think I have ever missed a London gig by L.A’s Dawes – I’m even going to their support slot for My Morning Jacket in a couple of weeks – but this was my first time at this venue. Stunning. Great bar and restaurant downstairs, decent sized room upstairs, with fantastic sound. I met @nogbad, who is wonderful company, for a pre-gig beer before we made our way upstairs.
With a new album out, the setlist was obviously skewed towards All Your Favourite Bands – no bad thing, as I think it is their best yet. I Can’t Think About That Now, Right On Time then If I Wanted Someone (from Nothing Is Wrong) and we were off to the races. The sound of the band is fuller than before, with the addition of touring guitarist Duane Betts (son of Dickey, so almost rock royalty.) This has freed Taylor Goldsmith up, so that he doesn’t feel like he’s almost carrying the sound, and he looks more relaxed for it. The older songs still sound fresh. They even went back as far as That Western Skyline from the first album, North Hills. A beautiful song. Then, halfway through the set, Taylor announced the next song thus:
“We’ve been doing this song all summer, in the States. Nothing. We think you guys will get it.”
They then launched into a ferocious cover of Mike Scott’s Fisherman’s Blues, with the crowd yelling out the whoops, and Taylor stepping back from the mic, grinning like a little kid. He said they wouldn’t bother going off for an encore, so they could fit in an extra song. The final 5 songs were a blistering rock through their Greatest Hits ( when it happens.)
Time Spent In Los Angeles
A Little Bit Of Everything
When My Time Comes
From The Right Angle
All My Favourite Bands
When the audience yelled out the chorus to the last (and newest) song, Taylor seemed genuinely taken aback that the song had resonated so quickly. My lungs hurt, my feet hurt and I was sweating like a pig but, jeez this band make me so happy.
I HATE standing gigs. Any etiquette goes out the window. Phones, cameras, PEOPLE STANDING IN FRONT OF ME WHEN I HAVE MOVED BACK TO LET THEM PAST.
It made me think..
I have seen my 2 favourite bands in the world, here in London, in the space of two weeks. And they could not be further from each other, in terms of the musical spectrum. Big Big Train with their proggy, 15 minute, harmony-filled songs about miners, trains and kings. And Dawes, all sunny Americana, alt-Country, Jackson Browne type songs about relationships, the road and growing older. Two gigs I will remember for a very, very long time.