The Dodos present an intriguing enigma in the live arena. On record they are reserved, controlled – providing brief, ephemeral bursts of sun-drenched noise amid a more textured, resonating setting. However, free from the shackles of the studio, they are a different proposition entirely. In the vein of the Animal Collective, they are a loose, faintly shambolic, but ultimately revelatory experience.

Given their short tenure as a band – the new album, 'Visitor', is only their second, again on French Kiss - they also have a fanatical following as they step onto the stage midway through their first European jaunt. The Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen is in the heart of Shoreditch, and as such can suffer some effete crowds with more substance than style. Yet, no sure scenesters haunt the corners this evening, with a surprisingly diverse range of ages. All of whom appear ready to appreciate what is on offer right from the start.

Augmented to a three piece - with a multi-instrumentalist playing a trash can and xylophone at the rear of the stage - Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have a rousing, percussion heavy live show. Long stands front and centre, strumming an acoustic guitar, or finger picking with sublime dexterity. In either mode he plays with passion and ability, forming the focal point of the band. His talent on trombone is also on display later in the show, creating an awed hush the moment it is produced. The stage is shared with Kroeber, who plays mesmeric rhythms on a uniquely shaped drum kit. Included are three floor toms and two cymbals, but no bass drum. This gives the set a light, airy feeling - cutting it from the lower register anchor and allowing it to sail away. Kroeber also plays with a tambourine strapped to his foot to add a further dynamic to the sound.

At the best, at full stride, the group is unmatched in intensity. They have a collective feel, which the audience is invited to join in and release themselves from their inhibitions, with the Dodos extending their material in new and unexpected directions. Tunings are diverse and stimulating, with Meric pounding away on the guitar with relentless intensity. Occasionally the band breaks to change tracks, but usually they are allowed to flow and merge to create one hedonistic craze. It has a primitive power, with a modern invention. 'Fools' and 'Jodi' are mixed into the set to rapt applause, but individual tracks matter less than the overall feel of the event.

A brief encore follows, with the band unable to leave the small stage due to the confines of the venue, with a welcoming crowd baying for me. The Dodos are certainly on the way up, with an intense live sound well in advance of their more modest recorded performance.











Related Links:


http://www.dodosmusic.net/
https://instagram.com/dodosmusic/
https://twitter.com/TheDodos
https://www.facebook.com/dodosmusic/


Commenting On: Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London, 2/6/2008 - Dodos








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