Dog is Dead [Live at the Lexington 13/07/2011]

Dog is Dead clamber to the stage at the Lexington to a rather full crowd who politely applaud their appearance. The five piece from Nottingham look as though they’ve barely got out of school with fresh faced youth, however these guys have already supported heavyweights such as Ok Go and now defunct Cajun Dance Party, it doesn’t take long to understand why as they launch into their set.

Previous to attending there was one thing that was at the back of my mind; would they pull off those incredible harmonies live? And the answer was without a moment’s contemplation was yes. These are harmonies that Fleet Foxes would be jealous of, at times they were 5-piece and always perfect. Pulling up influences from the popular 80’s indie and disco to contemporary sounds like Mystery Jets and the calypso drums of Vampire Weekend, the band make it their own sound with brilliant melodies and the odd jazz hints. They trade instruments routinely, bass, guitars, synths and a saxophone – yes a saxophone – that slotted in seamlessly.

The band looked at ease with each other throughout, but ‘Glockenspiel Song’ brought them together for the chanting of “We are a mess/We are failures and we love it” which then rips into a brilliant saxophone solo. It shouldn’t work, but it does, gloriously. Ending on recent single ‘Young’, the band exhibits everything they do best, a capella harmonies filling the entire room mid-song, building to an euphoric chorus. It’s incredibly hard not to dance – however the crowd has barely moved throughout. Whether they were fans, came on the off chance or were just too embarrassed to throw some shapes, the impartial crowd thwarted the bands best efforts.

This was their first headline gig in London and for intensive purposes they can call it a success. You can definitely expect to see a lot more of them in the future, if not you’ll probably be humming along to one of their songs soon, whether you know it or not.

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– Scott Kerr

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