It’s four years since Doves released Some Cities, a hiatus in which the world has plummeted into recession and the music industry has not been spared. Fans were concerned about the long pause, worried the band had called it a day. Thankfully those concerns were unfounded: Doves were quietly writing Kingdom of Rust, a beautiful, world-weary album that keeps one eye on their dance roots and the other on the scenic landscapes of their home in north England.
The welcome given to tonight’s opener, the slow-burning -Jetstream’ comes as no surprise. The crowd want familiarity; something dependably great. And Doves deliver.
All the old reasons for loving this band are present and correct. There’s Jimi Goodwin’s huge voice, which soars out above and beyond from the Olympia’s PA. There’s the peppering of absolute anthems old and new, including the massive -Pounding’ which leaves ears ringing and prompts the fear that the upper circle will collapse from the seated audience stamping along to the beat. The new single -Kingdom of Rust’, despite seeming a little underwhelming on its release, fits effortlessly into the band’s canon of stonking songs. Its opening chords ring out to a wild crowd reaction and an increase in singing and head-bobbing along.
The sound is excellent. The Olympia has a great sound system and tonight it has the measure of Doves’ sweeping songs. The dramatic lighting and video projections are wonderful too, adding a sense of occasion. There were few low points: arguably, the band leaned a little too much on familiarity, with the bulk of the set comprising of old material. But, then again, tell that to the crowd, who lapped it all up.
The encore is magnificent, including a majestic -Last Broadcast’ with Jimi’s vocals skipping over the lyrics like a breeze, then -Here It Comes’, and – of course – the salacious samba outro of -There Goes The Fear’. A lot has changed in four years, but in the glorious world of Doves, thankfully, it is business as usual.
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Review and photos by Loreana Rushe.