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The Dandy Warhols, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - a silver jubilee jaunt with plenty of new tunes | reviews, news & interviews

The Dandy Warhols, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - a silver jubilee jaunt with plenty of new tunes

The Dandy Warhols, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - a silver jubilee jaunt with plenty of new tunes

Portland’s finest celebrate their 25th anniversary but forget to turn up the volume

The Dandy Warhols: balloons and cracking tunes

This week, the Dandy Warhols rocked up in Birmingham to begin the UK leg of their 25th anniversary tour with a gig in the Institute’s shabby but beautiful main hall, with its dusty neo-classical alabaster reliefs and almost comically antiquated balconies.

It was indeed the perfect venue for a band that have spent so many years taking the psychedelic and adding their own twist to create something fine but far from mainstream. Needless to the say, the almost capacity audience lapped it all up, even though not too many seemed to have come out on this cold winter night with the intention of warming themselves up by shaking a leg.

While there are many bands who would be happy to treat reaching a landmark like this by taking the money and just banging out the hits, the Dandys were also here to play some tunes from their fine new album, Why You So Crazy. Kicking off their set with the whoozy “Forever”, they also took in the Jonathan Richmond-like “Small Town Girls”, “Motor City Steel” and keyboardist Zia McCabe’s hoe-down, “Highlife” among others. That’s not to say, that Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s mob missed out on hits and misses alike from their 25-year career. However, in this era of intrusive health and safety legislation, it was disappointing to hear these great tunes being played at a volume that wasn’t going to start anybody’s ears ringing, through a PA system that produced a somewhat muddy sound at times.

For most of the proceedings, the stage of the Institute was wrapped in dry ice and alternately deep orange, blue and red lighting, which didn’t really encourage lead vocalist Taylor-Taylor to chat with the audience much. He did, however, acknowledge that coming to Birmingham without sampling at least one curry house, was something of a crime – revealing that he always eats the same Indian dish to test culinary quality. He didn’t actually get around to mentioning was that dish might be though. So, the foodies of Birmingham were left guessing.

That said, no-one came along this evening for restaurant reviews and as the Dandy Warhols entered the final straight, they invited The Specials’ trumpet player, Pablo Mandelson, on-stage for fine renditions of “Godless”, “All the Money or the Simple Life Honey” and the perennial crowd-pleaser “Bohemian Like You”. These finally produced some movement in the audience but nothing that might create a stampede. The balloon-drop during slacker anthem “Every Day Should Be a Holiday” did introduce a bit of liveliness, but by then, it was almost time to head out into the wintery night again.

Not ones to kowtow to music conventions such as playing encores, the Dandys finished their set with a trippy “Pete International Airport” and a stomping “Boys Better”, which saw guitarist Peter Holmström throwing Pete Townsend-like shapes as things drew to a close. It was a fine end to a gig that more than suggested that, despite reaching such a considerable milestone, this won’t be the Dandys final tour by any stretch of the imagination.

This won’t be the Dandys final tour by any stretch of the imagination


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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