Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins have a lifetime in music together and their musical legacy stretches from their time together in the bands Bauhaus, Tones On Tail and Love And Rockets – and now they are taking their their latest project together out on the road. Poptone, their current band, plays tribute to those iconic bands by revisiting their back catalogue and presenting the songs in a new updated way. Joined by Haskin’s daughter Diva Dompe on bass, the trio played a loud and precise set to a small but very enthusiastic crowd at First Avenue. Sometimes battling against the sound system, when they hit their stride, it was a joy to behold.

Kicking off with the moody ‘Rain’, it was clear the audience was on their side, and the Tones On Tail song set the scene nicely – the whole set was full of light and shade, and sometimes even the Bauhaus gloom seemed fun to behold. Haskin’s drumming is loud and powerful, driving and rocking, whilst sometimes paring back to nothing to great effect. Diva’s bass grounds everything nicely, leaving lots of space for Daniel Ash to provide more sonic power. He comes over as a man having a lot of fun just being there, playing the tunes he has helped craft over the years to fans who were there the first time around and aren’t likely to forget him in a hurry.

Most of the material is taken from the Tones On Tail and Love And Rockets catalogue. They also did a great cover of the Temptations song, ‘Ball of Confusion’, with another standout track being ‘No Big Deal’, the Love And Rockets track – with Ash being the rock star he so obviously feels comfortable being. He is a larger than life character and lifts the band to energising heights. Diva also plays keyboards which helps to keep the sound more than just a drum/guitar/bass trio. The hi energy ‘Go!’ gave the band a chance to really kick it up a notch, and the crowd loved it. ‘An American Dream’ was a killer track – and Bauhaus got its nod with ‘Slice of Life’ and the evening was complete for many people who view this band as coming from an iconic stable of bands and thus as a part of musical history.

Simon Husbands is a DJ and hosts 'True Brit' on KFAI FM in Minneapolis.

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Commenting On: First Avenue, Minneapolis, 20/6/2018 - Poptone

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