Dum Dum Girls – Live Review

28/07/2010

By Mark Massey


Sound Control’s certainly undergone a massive transformation since its previous life as a musical instruments store.  I was quite flummoxed when, late one night, I saw people streaming in to what I assumed was still a guitar shop.  It seems that I’d gone and taken my finger off the pulse for a while there…

So, my first tentative steps (stumbles) on to the path of enlightenment were to catch the Dum Dum Girls.  And it seems they were well ahead of me because they played there just a few months ago, in May, as part of a short UK tour.

The California four-piece are with indie label, Sub Pop, who brought us the likes of Nirvana and Mudhoney many moons ago, when the label was still in its infancy.  And, true to their alumni, the DDGs are offering up their own concoction of fuzz-leaden, pop-punk.

There’s a notable influence taken from 60’s girl groups and French pop given an overall ethereal polish with reverberating guitar and vocals that bring to mind such bands as The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The Vaselines.  Incidentally, the DDGs take their name from the album Dum Dum, by the latter, and there’s also a nod to Iggy Pop’s track ‘Dum Dum Boys’.

After support acts, Mount Fabric and The Long March, the band filed on to the stage with an insouciance that touched on the regal, launching straight into a sultry take on the Stones’ ‘Play With Fire’, which worked a treat as an aperitif. They then followed their opener with  ‘Hey Sis’ and ‘Catholicked’ from their Yours Alone EP before taking us through their debut album, I Will Be, released earlier this year.

Singer Dee Dee’s vocals drifted effortlessly between the ferocious and the angelic backed by choral harmonies from guitarist, Jules, and bassist, Bambi, while Jules continued to pick out bass notes with an overdriven guitar that groaned like a distorted cello.

Although there wasn’t much movement apparent they exuded energy and were captivating throughout. They looked great and sounded great.  There’s a hint of kitsch-like uniformity evident there too in the dress and the instruments.  Dee Dee’s stripy tights are practically her trademark look now.

The gig seemed to be over all too quickly, ending on the brilliant, shoegazeresque, Rest Of Our Lives. They were perhaps on stage for the same amount of time, if not more, than their support, but it didn’t feel like it.  They’re well worth checking out if you haven’t already.  Although the room wasn’t quite packed to the rafters, it’s still early days and I suspect pretty soon they won’t be playing venues of this size anymore.

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