Album review: THE DOWLING POOLE – Bleak Strategies

The Dowling Poole - Bleak Strategies

369 Records [Release date:  11.08.14] https://www.facebook.com/TheDowlingPoole

Not a Drowning Pool tribute band but the latest poprocktastic creation from Willie Dowling (Honeycrack/Jackdaw4) and his co-collaborator Jon Poole (ex-Cardiacs). They have funded this via Pledge Music and they sing and play all the instruments, with Givvi Flynn adding backing vocals and taking lead vocals on ‘Clean’.

From the opener ‘The Sun Is Mine’ that recalls the great XTC, you just know this is going to be a fine album. ‘A Kiss On The Ocean’ is how you write a perfect pop rock song folks. From the blissful chorus (shades of Madness at times and ELO on the ‘ooh la la’ backing vocals) through to the splendid verses, it takes the listener on a harmonious pop journey. ‘Saving It All For A Saturday’ has the Kinks knack for wrapping a mundane slice of life into a memorable tune.

There is so much to enjoy on here, with plenty going on in the musical background – it’s amazing what a layered sound these two musicians can create. There are Beach Boy approved harmonies (‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’), hints of their previous bands (Jackdaw4 on ‘Twilight Subplot’) and most importantly they carry on the tradition of English musical whimsy. If you like XTC, The Kinks, The Beatles, 10cc – you will love this album trust me.

You can get this currently on Pledge Music and try their Facebook page as lovers of power pop/pop rock your album of the year has arrived!  ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

The Dowling Poole are featured ‘In Session for GRTR!’ on Sunday 30 November 2014 at 21:00.  More…

Interview (September 2014)
Gig review (September 2014)




The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.

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More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)

Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)



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One Response to Album review: THE DOWLING POOLE – Bleak Strategies

  1. Pingback: Albums of the Year 2014 | The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

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