It was just like they’d never been away as Jez, Jimi and Andy showed the crowd just what a band at the top of their game sound like.
Four years since their last and third album, Some Cities, Doves are back on the road with their newest offering, Kingdom of Rust.
But the band’s offerings for the night came from throughout their enviable back catalogue, including 2000’s Lost Souls and 2002’s Last Broadcast.
Twice nominated for the Mercury Music Prize with these albums and twice missing out, it’s hard to imagine this Cheshire-formed three-piece not getting nominated again this year, and winning even.
Certainly not if this slick performance was anything to go by. All the favourites were in there following opening track Jetstream. Snowden, Rise, Pounding, Last Broadcast, There Goes the Fear, and of course the superb and always crowd-pleasing Here It Comes.
Tracks from the new album, which itself has come in for rave reviews, also got a good reaction probably because songs like Winter Hill, The Outsider and title track Kingdom of Rust do sound unmistakably Doves. Which is no bad thing.
At times mournful in their music, at times uplifting, there’s no denying that Doves know their melodies and seem to be able to knock out mournful, heart-breaking music just as easily as uplifting, stomping tracks. And it’s an ability that doesn’t leave them when they play live either. Despite tickets for the gig still being available on the internet earlier in the day, it appeared a near-capacity venue.
A slight technical problem early on with lead singer Jimi’s mic was the only hiccup, although overcome by the music this reviewer did also hurt his knee during a brief stint in the mosh pit with some teenagers towards the end. Lesson learned.