Gig review: THE DOWLING POOLE – 12 Bar Club, London, 19 September 2014

The Dowling Poole (not a Drowning Pool tribute band as one of my work colleagues thought!) were climaxing a short but sweet acoustic tour with this gig tonight at the 12 Bar Club. My first time in this venue which has lots of nooks and crannies, an outside area and the musicians share a very intimate stage – you could just about swing the proverbial cat, providing they were a kitten…

First up support came from Tim Arnold aka the Soho Hobo. He has a decent turn of phrase in his lyrics that tell stories about characters and people that have crossed through his life. For a singer/songwriter he also has the ear for penning a decent chorus and got the crowd to join in on a few. Certainly worth seeking out for a listen and seeing live if he plays near you.

The Dowling Poole were touring their rather good debut album ‘Bleak Strategies’ the Dowling Poole are, on vocals/keyboards Willie Dowling (ex-Jackdaw4/Honeycrack) and guitar/vocals ‘Random’ Jon Poole (ex-Cardiacs), with Givvi Flynn providing backing vocals and lead on a couple of tunes.

A rammed crowd eagerly awaiting the pop rock gems from the band and we were not disappointed with storming versions of ‘The Straw Man’ and the sing-a-long-tastic ‘Saving It All For A Saturday’. The harmonic bliss kept on coming with a personal fave ‘The Sun Is Mine’ and ‘Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions’.

Lots of patter in between songs, mainly from Willie who often berate various members of the audience for singing out of key!  He was certainly in fine form with impromptu snippets of songs from Queen and I think the theme from ‘Cheers’.

The Cardiacs were represented by ‘The Unemployment Man’ and we had a very brief bit of the Wildhearts ‘29x The Pain’ (Willie and Jon first worked together on an album for the Wildhearts’ main man Ginger).

Couple of Jackdaw4 tunes in the shape of ‘This Is Your Life’ which allowed Givvi Flynn to show her fine vocals off and a roof raising encore in the shape of ‘Why Don’t You Come And See Me When She’s Not Around’. A great song to end the evening on and the volume was getting louder than an electric gig!

A good point made by Willie on stage was that 16-35 year olds talk about their music and recommend it to their friends, whereas as us older music fans tend to keep it to ourselves, with a few notable exceptions.

So folks get along and see The Dowling Poole when they tour in full electric mode next February, you will be in for a musical treat I guarantee it. Oh, and hopefully some of tonight’s gig will appear as a session on GRTR! Radio soon…

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 2 April 2018


TAX THE HEAT Taking The Hit (Nuclear Blast)
BLACKBERRY SMOKE Nobody Gives A Damn (Earache)
THE DEAD DAISIES Resurrected (SPV)
CATTAIL BREW Fool’s Gold (Capital City Music Factory/Cargo Records)


Featured Albums w/c 2 April (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FRONTLINE State Of Rock + 2 (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 GUS G Fearless (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TRACK DOGS Kansas City Out Groove (Mondegreen Records)



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