Wednesday 1 May 2013

Dog Is Dead | Live: The Globe, Cardiff 30.04.2013

After a little rescheduling to coincide with being invited on tour with Two Door Cinema Club (I mean, who wouldn't turn down such an opportunity) Dog Is Dead return to Wales' capital to perform at The Globe. With their EP and debut album taking the Indie scene by storm last year it's no mean feat to say this five piece from Nottingham have been taking big strides in their advancement as musicians. To say I was looking forward to tonight would be a vast understatement! 

The Lay Lows

With the night already off to an entertaining start spotting a somewhat very drunk girl stumbling around outside looking like she hadn't quite made it to the bathroom (Yep. Welcome to Cardiff) it was now down to The Lay Lows to get things back on track. I sadly missed the start of their set as the queue took forever and an age to move inside but from what I heard they sound like a very promising band. Whilst I've not listened to anything on record (yet) I can imagine it sounding exactly like it did tonight; Tight. With a strong professionalism running through the band that's clearly evident in their playing abilities they manage to capture the audiences attention with big sounding guitars and hard hitting percussion. Without hiding behind tonnes of reverb or fancy electronic gadgets The Lay Lows power through their short but sweet set with a delightful elegance.

To Kill A King

Next up was a band that finally seem to be getting the recognition they deserve. Having recently played at Cardiff's Student Union supporting Bastille To Kill A King return to the city with a warming welcome. With an extensive touring history the London five piece are far from new to the live circuit. Cultivating their playing abilites and skills over the years what you see today is a group of musicians at the top of their game. With countless EP's and a debut album to boot it's been fantastic to watch the band develop in to the fully fledged artists they are today.
And as they open with the ever controlling Gasp/The Reflex it's clear to see form the onset the attentive crowd are hooked. As its powerful blasts of energy are soaked up what's really wonderful is how quiet the crowd become when the music dies down to the lonesome solitude of Ralph Pelleymounters voice. As they progress through their set it's clearly evident since their stint with Bastille the band have picked up some new love as the young crowd sing back the lyrics to Funeral, the groups latest single. As Choices builds in to its monstrous ending with one of the most beautiful guitar sounds I've ever heard the musicianship onstage is a sight to behold as their vocalised harmonies come together to form a wonderful sound.

Rounding up on the very song I discovered them with a few years previous, Fictional State, a whirlwind follows as the venue erupts in to dance, something that's so nice to see in Cardiff. It definitely seems that a new breed of music lovers have been born since the days when I was their age (Wow I sound old. I'm only 22, honest). Long gone are the static Welsh crowds who only move to clap, replaced by an audience that enjoy a good time who are highly appreciative of live music. Tonight was that very case. Another fantastic effort by To Kill A King!

Dog Is Dead

As I make my way down the front Robert Milton and co finally emerge on stage to an upraoring welcome. Nearing the end of their headline tour in support of their debut album the band have amassed quite a large following of young and old fans alike becoming quite apparent tonight. As the older folk head for safety towards the back it's the fresh-faced crowd causing all the movement down front. Their vigorous appeal quickly picked up on by the band as we're eased in through Talk Through The Night's harmonious chords and resounding choruses.

With their wall of guitars rolling through the audience Any Movement becomes a wonderful singalong as the band come together to form beautiful five piece harmonies set aback by the swaying guitars. Who needs a choir when you've got these guys! As frontman Rob Milton and Trev often swap between bass and guitar it's clear to see they know their way around their instruments. And with the sax making the odd appearance there's no denying the love in here tonight. As it transcends through the band their visible enjoyment is rife as they smile and thank the crowd saying how great it is to be back in Cardiff. Packing the majority of their most joyous hits in to a heavy 'All Our Favourite Stories' set Milton announces what is to be their "rock song" of the evening. That rock song turns out to be early single, and quite possibly my favourite, River Jordan. With chaotic drums and wholesome vocals that continue to rise the crowd breaks in to a frenzy jumping up and down before it ends with its piercing guitars on an amped up folk influence. Another notable performance being Two Devils with its soaring guitars and anthemic "whooos" lifting the roof off Cardiff's intimate Globe before the instruments drop out to leave room for the crowd to shout back "If we don't stop now we'll be dead by summer" rounded up with intricate distraught vocals.

With the inclusion of a brand new track not too distant form their current direction with added hand claps and a heavier synth sound it will be interesting to hear what the band have in store for us new music wise. If it's anything like this then I'm sure it'll go down just as well as it did tonight.

The most warming moment of the night came when Milton returns for a solo encore. Asking for quiet throughout he steps down in to the deadly silent crowd to perform a glistening acoustic rendition of Young. As he struggles to find (with much amusement) the chords resulting from the ambush of fans trying to touch and grab him, he's saved as the remaining members come down to join in on the chorus. I genuinely don't think I've heard a crowd go so quiet under authority before with the only noise echoing from the band and the clinking bottles at the bar. Good work!

With a rousing display of clean cut Indie-Pop at its highest level, tonight has excelled all expectations. If you're heading out to see Dog Is Dead live this year, you're in for a treat!


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