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Dope Lemon, O2 Academy, Birmingham review - Australian cosmic cowboys bring the house down | reviews, news & interviews

Dope Lemon, O2 Academy, Birmingham review - Australian cosmic cowboys bring the house down

Dope Lemon, O2 Academy, Birmingham review - Australian cosmic cowboys bring the house down

Angus Stone’s long delayed UK tour finally kicks off in Birmingham

Angus Stone and his Rose Pink Cadillac

The Academy 2 may not be the biggest venue in Birmingham, but it was packed on Friday evening for the first gig of Dope Lemon’s much delayed Rose Pink Cadillac tour – to support an album that was finally released after delays of its own back in January. In fact, such was the mass of bodies waiting in anticipation for Angus Stone’s crew to take the stage that it took the best part of half an hour just to get served at the bar before the action started.

Dope Lemon eventually took to a stage that was wrapped in a fog of dry ice, illuminated by blue stage lights, dressed like the Grateful Dead in their 60s heyday, but somewhat unprepared for the steaming humidity of the venue. However, their wide brimmed hats and jackets stayed firmly on as they picked up a woozy, psychedelic groove which captured the crowd of predominantly 20- and 30-Somethings’ attention from the first notes.

While there wasn’t a great deal of conversation from the stage during the show, the spaces between the songs were largely filled with drone sounds and percussion rather than an awkward silence. However, the audience did at least get a “How you doing, Birmingham?” as the band struck up “Marinade” from debut album Honey Bones and were soon joining in the “Do you want me? Do you need me?” refrain.

Dope LemonThis was followed by “Hey You” and “Salt and Pepper” from 2019’s Smooth Big Cat, with the hot and sweaty crowd singing along to Stone’s spaced-out “I got the cocaine flame in my brain”. In fact, for a relatively obscure group in this part of the world, the venue seemed to be packed with serious band fanatics rather than curious gig-goers, who knew the words to every tune. One bloke standing next to me even seemed to be having no less than a religious experience with hands held aloft and eyes screwed shut during the trippy “Fuck Things Up”.

That said, the audience almost managed to drown out Stone’s sweet cowboy ballad, “Hey Man, Don’t Look at Me Like That”, as he strummed his acoustic guitar and blew into the harmonica hanging around his neck. However, Dope Lemon responded by knocking up the volume for “Rose Pink Cadillac” and “Uptown Folks”, which got the crowd even more animated and several groups of blokes going for a drunken male bonding moment as they moved to the music, arms around each others' shoulders.

After the final notes of “Home Soon” faded away, the band left the stage, but the audience made it clear that it wasn’t going anywhere, and a noticeably pleasantly surprised Stone and his confederates returned for a take on the mellow and quite soulful “Kids Fallin’ in Love”. It was only then that they were allowed to put down their guitars and disappear into the night. It was a fine ending to an evening in the company Stone’s cosmic cowboys.

Dope Lemon eventually took to a stage wrapped in a fog of dry ice, dressed like the Grateful Dead in their 60s heyday

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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