The Dodos, Hoxton Bar & Grill, London

4.00

On paper "psych-pop folktronica", as The Dodos' music has been labelled, isn't a genre all that easy to call to mind. It seems like a made-up mélange of words – obscure yet oddly exact in a manner beloved of more snobbish music fans. But in front of a crowd packed into a small east London venue, it makes perfect sense.

The band's opener begins with front man Meric Long picking out a country blues tune on an acoustic guitar. It starts slow and ends fast with drummer Logan Kroeber joining with a pounding beat; the pair then bellow a chorus together. The song breaks down briefly and is taken up again with more guitar picking by Long only to return to a cacophonous, joyous explosion of noise.

Many of the songs by the San Francisco-based duo follow this template. Long sings and alternates between guitar picking and furious strumming. Kroeber adds backing vocals and powerful drumming. They are abetted by Joe Haener from Oakland band Gris Gris, who plays a xylophone and toy piano, and bangs on a metal bin.

The three are fantastic players, expertly holding their disparate music together. On one song Long begins by playing a trombone – the tune like an off-kilter version of "Dirty Old Town" – he then returns to playing the guitar while the trombone sound continues in an electronic loop.

A minor drawback is Long's vocals. In deep tones, his voice lands somewhere between Morrissey and Win Butler from Arcade Fire. This is no bad thing and, when he hits his stride, it sounds great. Frequently, however, the vocals are very low in the mix, with almost all the lyrics virtually indecipherable.

Midway through the show, Long introduces a few numbers from their new album, Visiter, which is released on 14 July. It was written and recorded last year while the band were on the road with their debut album, Beware of the Maniacs. However, only the most devoted of listener would hear a huge difference between the two.

All this should not detract from what is a wonderful performance. While they may not do much in the way of showmanship – the singer remains sitting throughout – they really do know how to play. It makes one think of old blues men and early rockers sitting around, kicking up a storm and having a blast.

With a name such as theirs, some clichéd phrases naturally spring forth. So perhaps it is simplest to say that when The Dodos are in full, stomping flow, with the audience clapping along and hollering their approval, they seem very much alive.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'