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Monday, June 08, 2009

The Doves Live at The Trocadero, Philadelphia

Maybe it was where I was standing, but it sounded like Doves played in a giant bucket instead of the Trocadero in Philadelphia the other night. Less-than-stellar sound quality hampered an otherwise great, if not uneven, set from the Manchester three-piece (four-piece for touring purposes). Playing a nice mix of songs from all of their albums, Doves got the first big cheers of the night four songs in for the back-to-back “Rise” and “Pounding.” It was here, too, that the gig picked up some momentum. From their latest album, “10:03” and “The Greatest Denier” led into “Kingdom of Rust,” which was a revelation before the crowd got restless during the hushed “Ambition.” Everything picked up the pace again, though, for “Black and White Town” and “The Outsiders” before audience sing-along “Caught By the River,” where the predominantly male crowd showed their sensitive sides.

The best part of the night was undoubtedly the encore, when the band seemed its tightest. Bassist Jimi Goodwin took over on drums to leave the harmonica and vocals to drummer Andy Williams on “Here It Comes,” a highlight of the set. And even though I had an overzealous fan in my ear asking for Sub Sub songs, the pairing of “The Last Broadcast” and “There Goes the Fear” to finish the night was fantastic. Songs from their first two albums, Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast, received the warmest reception, but most of the new songs sounded just as vital and will surely take their places in future Doves setlists.

Overall, I couldn’t hear Jimi Goodwin’s bass, but his distinctive vocals were consistently spot-on all night. Also, the band’s sequencing (controlled by the mysterious man crouching behind the drums?) was a little off, leaving some parts to come in at the incorrect time or not at all. (Or again, maybe I just couldn’t hear them?) Still, Doves soldiered through and seemed in good and gracious spirits. They’re a sadly refreshing act in this day and age—a band with consistently good songs, who don’t care about being cool. They’re often better live than on album, though on this night, this only occasionally shone through.


Winter Hill
Almost Forgot Myself
The Greatest Denier
Kingdom of Rust
Black and White Town
The Outsiders
Caught By the River

Here It Comes
The Last Broadcast
There Goes the Fear

~ Erin Cramer

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