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REVIEW: Dawes!

By Rob Waters

Posted on Tuesday 8th November 2016 at 16:52

REVIEW: Dawes at RNCM, Manchester (03/11/16) by Rob Waters.

First, let me start by saying what a beautiful venue this is, I’ve been in many incredible venues around the country and this one ranks among them!

Support act Lily and Madeleine opened with a wonderfully sultry performance, their gorgeous voices filling the concert hall with a soothing yet powerful melody, perfectly complementing the rich but subtle grandeur of the newly renovated venue.  

After a quick trip to the bar, I return to a somewhat pantomime-ish tune playing out through the PA.  Enter Dawes.

‘One of Us’ opens the set (that’s the song name by the way, I’m not in the band), with its fun, punchy rhythm and catchy refrain.  The band’s energy easily fills the room.  Not long after, we are transported to the great U.S of A, with an Americana-fuelled ‘Time Spent in Los Angeles’.

‘Somewhere along the way’, a gorgeous acapella breakdown shows off the band’s vocal talents.  It was somewhere around here that frontman Taylor Goldsmith commended us on our ability to stay quiet (not too surprising given that we were seated).  The band responds by segueing into the more peaceful ‘A Little Bit of Everything’ – ironically riling the crowd up more than anything else before it.  Also, I’m not sure how to check my facts here, but I’m fairly certain this song prompted a proposal in the crowd – she said yes.

Livening things up again, with the chugging railroad rhythm of ‘From a Window Seat’, including a powerful, latin-esque solo from the lead guitar.  Next, bassist Wylie Gelber takes us into ‘Less Than Five Miles Away’ with a simplistic but funky riff.

‘When the Tequila Runs Out’ treats us to a gravelly, distorted melody… and a sudden, unexpected craving for tequila and/or champagne.  More anthemic ballads in ‘When My Time Comes’ and ‘From the Right Angle’.

The Los Angeles 5-piece finish on their new record’s titular track - ‘We’re all gonna die’ -  a soulful but optimistic take on our inevitable mortality, with lovely hushed vocals and a delightfully textured instrumental backdrop.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable concert, the band excelling in the live-performance format.  Whilst their passion for performance is somewhat distilled in their studio recordings, it definitely shines out here, their excitement infectious.  I’m pretty sure everyone left with a smile on their face, especially the happy couple.

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