Gig review: THE DOWLING POOLE – The Borderline, London, 14 May 2016

THE DOWLING POOLE - The Borderline, London, 14 May 2016

I last saw the Dowling Poole back in 2014 in acoustic mode and tonight they were playing in full electric band mode. The three full band gigs (tonight’s gig was the last of these – for now) nearly didn’t happen as the original drummer planned for the gigs had to withdraw with just under a fortnight to go. Luckily they had Elliot Vaughan (the Wildhearts connection continues as he drummed for CJ Wildheart) step in at the last minute.

The Dowling Poole are centred around Willie Dowling (Jackdaw 4/The Grip/The Wildhearts) and Jon Pool (The Cardiacs/Lifesigns/The Wildhearts) and are able supportedd  in the live arena by Givvi Flynn, the aforementioned Elliot Vaughan and bassist Andy Lewis. Their new album, ‘One Hyde Park’ is already a firm favorite with me and should be blasting from your CD player,phone or radiogram (if of a certain age) right now.

Kicking off with ‘Where The Memories Fester’ and then straight into a sing-a-long made for a Saturday night, ‘Saving It All For A Saturday’, the band sounded like they had been honing their live sound for many months, rather than less than a month.

Due to the tight 10:30pm curfew the between song banter was kept to a minimum, although Willie did manage to mention Jon was recently voted third best prog rock bassist. And during the excellent rendition of ‘Vox Pops’, Willie suggested he be Brian May and Jon be Pete Townsend on the song’s guitar solo. In fact add in Givvi’s guitar playing and you’ve got a Lynyrd Skynyrd-esque triple guitar attack…possibly.

The single ‘Rebecca Receiving’ sounded particularly good live, and the band’s mix of pop rock, quirkiness and psychadelic sounds translate well to the live stage. The crowd needless to say were thoroughly enjoying the gig and the new album’s title track closed the main set. Encore time we had ‘The Strawman’ and ‘Clean’, the latter sounded really good in a live setting.

A truly stunning night of pop rock and lets hope they do more gigs soon, and more importantly they get to bigger venues their music deserves. So grab yourself a copy of their new album and get along next time to support the band and live music.

Review by Jason Ritchie

Upcoming gigs:

Thursday June 30th Parish, Huddersfield

Saturday July 2nd Glasgow – Audio

Sunday July 3rd Manchester – Gullivers

Jon Poole interview
Willie Dowling interview
Album review

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