[live review] the dandy warhols @ koko

August 10, 2010

Concert date: August 8, 2010

The Dandy Warhols performing at Koko, August 8th 2010

Time (and energy) permits only a short review of this gig. It was incredibly good. Indeed.

For me – and I’m not a paid up Dandys disciple – it was a peformance of two halves and one-third. At the risk of offending a couple of thousand devotees the first half was just a little flat (I don’t mean tonally). Good solid, often country-tinged, rock – but it didn’t quite fly.

The set reached its strategically programmed (I like to think) trough around half way in with All The Money Or The Simple Life Honey, from 2005’s Odditorium Or Warlords From Mars album. On this song Courtney Taylor-Taylor (above, far right), Zia McCabe (far left), guitarist Peter Holmström (not pictured) and drummer Eric Hedford (centre-right) were joined by two members of The Specials‘ horns section (centre-left), with whom the band had shared a bill the previous week at the Paredes De Coura festival in Portugal. Deliberately/ironically or otherwise, the song’s bar/wedding reception band feel came across just a little too strongly on this occasion.

Courtney Taylor-Taylor of The Dandy Warhols performing at Koko, August 8th 2010

OK, (affectionate) niggling over. From then on in it quickly became good, then great, followed by fantastic, awesome and astonishing. Staple crowd-pleasers Bohemian Like You (from 2000’s Thirteen Tales Of Urban Bohemia) and Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth (1997’s …The Dandy Warhols Come Down) were seen off with sublime efficiency, but the band really  opened out – and visibly and audibly began to really enjoy themselves – for the final third, from Godless (their best song, also from Thirteen Tales) onwards.

They sounded stunning, capping off their two-dozen song set with a rare encore: an overpowering (in a good way) rendition of drone-rock anthem It’s A Fast Driving Rave-Up With The Dandy Warhols from debut album Dandys Rule OK (1995).

At the very end (it was the last gig of the tour) both the band and crowd – the latter packed like sardines in what seemed like a heavily oversubscribed Koko – were left ecstatic (with maybe just a hint of relief).

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