Live music

Reading time: 2 mins

In the past few weeks I’ve attended 3 gigs (with a 4th happening on Thursday). I’ve not written up any thoughts about any of them, a habit I’ve fallen out of because I know I struggle sometimes to capture my thoughts about live music, and I’m guilty of always having just attended the ‘best gig ever’.

I should pause and try and recall things in the cold light of the morning rather than when I’m still bubbling from the atmosphere and emotions a gig usually instils.

So, with that in mind I won’t ‘review’ the gig I attended last night (Band of Skulls), instead I’ll go back a couple of weeks and start with Ash (the band, not the volcano).

Ash have always intrigued me. I like some of their stuff but some of it doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but having last seen them at T in the Park many moons ago I thought it would be worth a punt. And it almost was.

They are touring to support a ‘greatest hits’ style release so they played all their well known tracks, a couple of new songs (one of which was excellent and I’ll need to track down) and even threw in a cover of a Weezer track (Only In Dreams) and two verses of Teenage Kicks to cover up when the bass guitar failed.

Alas, just as when I saw them at T in the Park, and that was with a different line-up, they remain distinctly raw when playing live. Several times either bass, drums or guitar would wander away and take a few moments to come back to the beat or melody. Suffice to say they are not the tightest of bands. I’m still less than convinced by Tim Wheeler’s vocals either but that doesn’t seem to have held them back (or has it?) yet, despite those flaws, it was a fun gig and great to hear some of their tracks in the relatively cosy setting of the ABC in Glasgow.

Contrasting that to the next band I saw, at the larger O2 Academy, would be foolish as they are worlds apart despite being closely related. Doves are a band that have been in my collection for longer than I realise and upon skimming through the setlist I realised just how many tracks of theirs I know well.

What was odd, as to my ears they are can be very poetic in lyric and gentle of melody, was the “Oasis-lite” style crowd. Maybe I’m missing something, as I definitely have Doves closer aligned to Elbow than any of the yob-rock outfits the Gallagher brothers inspired.

Regardless, Doves rocked. A much bigger and more rock orientated sound than I had been expecting, they rolled out thumping track after thumping track, and balanced their set well. Was great to hear tracks like Pounding in that setting, and I can confirm it is perfectly named.

Bonus moment was an extra encore of dance beat driven jamming, a nice little homage to their days as Sub Sub. I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Doves live but I was pleasantly surprised.

I’ll write up my thoughts on the gig last night soon.