Live Review - Dog is Dead at The Lexington, Islington
Posted by Guest Writer on Mon, 18 Jul 2011.
Supported by Hot Horizons and Big Deal, Dog Is Dead played their first headline London show and quite rightly too, it was sold out. Islington’s Lexington was packed with a staunch and devoted crowd, watching on fondly, eager to see the band give the performance they’ve had in them from the start.
Opening with carefully rehearsed group harmonies that Dog Is Dead do so well (take note Mumford…) for ‘Head In Your Hands’, the band played tracks from their recently released EP, Your Childhood, and previously unheard material also. Without drawing attention to the fact that some of the songs may have been unheard, they weren’t set apart as trials or probationary; they mixed seamlessly with the EP tracks, feeling comfortable and familiar, demonstrating that this band’s talent stretches well beyond what we’ve seen so far.
‘Young’, ‘Glockenspiel Song’ and ‘River Jordan’ were all played perfectly. This was easily more than another gig– it was an unmistakably tirelessly rehearsed performance. Not a note was noticeably out of place and given the amount of texture that Dog Is Dead pack in to their songs, it was a great credit to the band that at no point was it messy or confusing.
‘We are a mess, we are failures, and we love it’, the boys declare to their audience in ‘Glockenspiel Song’, ironic considering the band are far from a mess and the performance far from a failure. Paul Roberts’ vocals carried clearly across the room, reminding live quite strikingly of Jack Steadman of Bombay Bicycle Club fame. Saxophones, rolling drum beats and well-judged harmonies all intensely powerful and uplifting, the dark and controlled setting of the Lexington felt almost stifling for a band with a sound as limitless as this. It was only due to Dog Is Dead’s absence from Glastonbury this year that I was drawn to this gig, and I couldn’t help feeling that the open air and lazy late afternoon sunshine would have been a far more appropriate setting for these talented young chaps.
It’s thanks to indie music that the boys that aren’t as good as sport still get a chance to get the girl, and the clean and presentable Dog Is Dead strike me as a pleasant cohort that I wouldn’t mind being in my home. The Cribs might get dirt on the carpet, The Kabeedies might break a cup, but I would be more than happy to have Dog Is Dead over for tea (and yes, you can take that as an invitation. My mum bakes a mean chocolate cake.)
Dog Is Dead’s performance was surprisingly poignant that night. The band hold such emotion in their music that it becomes somewhat intangible, leaving me completely baffled as to why my eyes are prickling. Sort of Fleet Foxes if they cheered up a bit…part Stornoway if they were a bit less pathetic…Dog Is Dead are their own band, doing what they love, together as a group of friends who take what they do seriously and don’t want to let anybody down. The boys gave a performance to be proud of and that debut album can’t come along soon enough.
- Review by Rosie