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

Album review

Throughout September 2018 Get Ready to ROCK! Radio celebrated the station’s 10th anniversary and a two-hour special reflected a decade of broadcasting. “10 years in the making” features archive interviews with Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Todd Rundgren, Graham Bonnet, David Coverdale, John Wetton and Bob Catley.

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Power Plays w/c 12 November 2018

STEPHEN PEARCY U Only Live Twice Frontiers)
NORTHWARD Timebomb (Nuclear Blast)
MASON HILL Hold On (indie)
RAINLIGHT Field Of Souls (indie)
EDEN’S CURSE Forever (AFM Records)

Featured Albums w/c 12 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 TEN Illuminati (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 NORDIC UNION Second Coming (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 LARKIN POE Venom & Faith (Proper Music)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 MAGGIE REILLY Heaven Sent (2013)

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