The Dowling Poole – Bedford, Esquires, 8 September 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Martin Haslam   
Saturday, 16 September 2017 04:00

There is a corner of my heart that shall belong forever to the music of The Dowling Poole. Both their albums, ‘Bleak Strategies’ and ‘One, Hyde Park’ are littered with dark, pop gems. And, with a heritage including The Grip, The Wildhearts, Honeycrack, Cardiacs, and God Damn Whores, I think there’s something for everyone here.


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Having interviewed them last year, I had a quick catch up before the gig. As Willie and Jon are being kept busy on the unending Dr Hook tour machine (regular work being a necessity), they are only playing three gigs this year. So, if you missed them, it was your loss!


Returning for their second gig at the Holy Molys stage at Bedford Esquires, we, the dedicated followers, are more than ready. Bowfinger provide a suitable support tonight. I’ve seen them before, and their mod/pop melodies are a very welcome addition.


It’s comfortably busy, and Jon, Willie and Givvi start with ‘Where The Memories Fester’. They pull off such tight, complex tunes thanks to a wealth of talent and a brilliant rhythm section. You’ve got to be good to keep up!


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‘Saving It All For A Saturday’ is the first big singalong of the evening, and ‘A Kiss On The Ocean’ puts the shy, retiring Jon(!) centre stage. After the popmungous ‘When She Knows, She Knows’, Willie introduces new song ‘The Product Is In Pieces’, which I am yearning to hear again as soon as possible. They’ve released three singles since their last album, so I live in hope.


Highlights? Apart from bumping into my old friend Kate, and dancing like a loon all night, favourites would have to be ‘Adam And Eve’s ‘religion as mass luncacy’ set to an absurdly catchy dance beat, Jon’s tribute to Tim Smith ‘Hey Stranger’, ‘Empires, Buildings And Acquisitions’, regardless of the depressing rise of the Trump thing, and epic closer ‘Clean’. Oh, and the ‘odd couple’ chat from Jon and Willie; not unlike a surreal George and Zippy. Where that leaves Givvi, flip knows!


We love the tunes, the intelligence and them. So, if you weren’t there, listen to the albums, and watch closely for next year’s dates. It will improve your life.


Photos by kind permission of Alex Grady.


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