|The Dowling Poole - Bedford, Holy Moly’s @ Esquires - 13th May 2016|
|Written by Martin Haslam|
|Friday, 27 May 2016 04:00|
Hot on the heels of their second album, ‘One Hyde Park’, The Dowling Poole took to the road with a full band for the first time. Having caught some of their earlier acoustic gigs, and having considered said album for my “album of the summer”, I was amazed that they turned up in my home town on a Friday night. It’d be rude not to…
The Dowling Poole; the talented and slightly twisted child of Willie Dowling (The Grip/Honeycrack/Jackdaw 4) and Jon Poole (Cardiacs/Wildhearts/Lifesigns), ably assisted by the vocal powerhouse of Givvi Flynn. The full band scenario is a brave move for a band with no roadies or sound engineers; truly D.I.Y, with the aid of an iPad, their songs are recreated in this intimate venue in all their lush, quirkily psychedelic glory tonight. I had the pleasure of interviewing them after the soundcheck. More of that soon.
Local support The Nimblewits provided some sweet country styled tunes, then Paul Miro upped the intensity with his dark, acoustic set, which built the atmosphere up nicely for the headliners.
That they can open tonight with a song like ‘Where The Memories Fester’ says a lot about their song writing talents. It’s not exactly a light, fluffy pop tune, yet we are all here because we are already aware of this and love it anyway. They have many poptastic tunes, though; some of serious intent lyrically, some less so. ‘Saving It All For A Saturday’ is a Chas & Dave sing along by way of The Beatles’ ‘White Album’. Who else could/would dare do that? And, we all sing along! These songs from the first album are like old friends now; ‘A Kiss On The Ocean’ with its breezy chorus gives way to new tune and incessant ear worm ‘When She Knows, She Knows’. Daytime radio would be vastly improved by these songs. First time caller, Ken…
Indeed, Jon and Willie are the true pop masters. ‘Adam And Eve (A Secular Hymn)’ reminds me of The Banana Splits on happy pills, yet discusses the inherent lunacy of the blind faith of all religions; “I’m sticking to the evidence, and none of you can show me any”. Yet, all around me, people are dancing. I’m one of them.
‘Rebecca Receiving’ is a No.1 in a decent parallel universe, where Sparks come out to play with XTC and Super Furry Animals. ‘Vox Pops’, were there an afterlife, would have Mr Mercury smiling to the “none more Brian” solo, while ‘One Hyde Park’ finishes the set proper in huge style, before they soldier on with ‘Straw Man’, a song about the hideous Savile tragedy, and close with ‘Clean’, with Willie acknowledging the chorus as “essentially ‘Hey, Jude’”.
Elliot Vaughan on drums and Andy Lewis on bass have to be thanked for their sterling work. Elliot filled the drum stool at short notice and Andy plays Jon’s bass lines like, well, Jon. There is no higher praise.
Lovely songs performed by lovely people. We are lucky to have them.
Photographs courtesy of James A Grady