Just another little review I did for GigJunkie…
In our stroll up to Hoxton Square we have the pleasure of encountering opening act, Stagecoach busking joyfully in front of a camera crew. And while the skinny Shoreditch vampires that seem to generally haunt the place aren’t exactly charmed, the atmosphere inside The Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen is somewhat different when the Cardiff locals take to the stage.
Sounding like Los Campesinos! minus the girls and the violins but with the added power of a bald, burly male mandolin player, their quirky lyrics and wolf “howls” soon get everyone interested and paying attention. There’s no question that singer, Luka and Mandolin player Tom are having a good time, audience invasion, songs about bad heavy metal and bandana losses notwithstanding and so are we. We want to see them again. They’re great!
Next up is Dog Is Dead are without question trying to make an impression on everyone they play for. They’ve obviously spent time as choir boys as their blistering vocal harmonies bear testament… although if you didn’t notice that, they kindly open their set with an intro straight from Last Choir Stranding. As the set continues with instrument swaps, jazzy saxophone interludes and loveable lyrics, I can’t help getting the impression that Dog Is Dead are showing off a little. It’s obvious that they have a natural musicality and that they’re channelling everyone from Paul Simon to the Mystery Jets so why the smugness. You’re not the average band, you’re great, we get it, there’s no need to go over the top. That said, they’re easy to get lost in and with that much raw talent, they’re surely on the road to bigger and better things. We leave still not sure if vocalist, Rob, is more concerned that we know that they come from Nottingham or that he’s mentioned Nottingham too many times because everyone one of the (five or so) times he mentions they’re from Nottingham he also says that he thinks he’s mentioned it before. What I do know is that their cheery gospel choir jams have a quietly melancholy edge and they’re one to watch in the upcoming music scene.