Feb 14, 2010

The Dodos @ Oxford Art Factory

The Dodos possess a vitality that is admirable. That is infectious to be sure. They feel and are fresh. Their music seems basic, but upon further inspection it is intricate and layered. Complex even. Saturday night at the Oxford Art Factory was an exercise in frizzled melody and skewered instrumentation. Sailing on a knife's edge, their music pushed forward and outward, all the time expressing movement. Filling the room with rhythms and sounds that were impossible to resist.

This San Francisco trio were here just over 12 months ago as a player at Falls Festival and as a support act for Fleet Foxes. Now in 2010, armed with a new album, they returned for a short tour. Short but oh so sweet. Firstly, on this night, there was to be no set list. No boundaries, providing a fluid and flowing full experience. Also the night was to be "Visiter" heavy, which meant no complaints here. Although I was half expecting more songs drawn from "Time To Die". In fact they opened with perhaps their best known song in "Fools" which began with a long intro with Keaton Snyder and Meric Long plying violin bows on Snyder's vibraphone, giving an eerie effect before the song launched into its melodic bounce. The band then followed up with a withering version of "The Season", which teetered for long periods on the edge before plunging in to its bombastic finale. Catching our breaths we waited for more. And more definitely came. Whether it was the lithe melody of "Ashley" or the pounding rhythms of "Joe's Waltz" or the driving "Paint The Rust" it was all pretty fantastic. Through out the night I was greatly impressed by the experimental nature of this seemingly basic set up. Meric Long is an instinctive and intuitive guitarist, whether on the electric or his Gibson acoustic. Newish member Snyder adds huge chunks to the life of this band with his work on the vibraphone, whilst drummer Logan Kroeber is a man of extraordinary talents. His drumming, with no bass and often tapping on the rims, sways expertly between subtle and ferocious. All three combine to produce a sound that is original and quite superb. As an added bonus we received a great rendition of "Troll Nacht" in the encore. Ensuring smiles all round.

Set List
Fools
The Season
Ashley
Joe's Waltz
Winter
Paint The Rust
Longform
Fables
Jodi

Troll Nacht
Walking
Red And Purple

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