Was the hype from my preview of Dolomite Minor to be justified? Of course it was, and in fact the gig was even better than I had anticipated, with a great range of support acts to enjoy. The Joiners venue consistently delivers high quality sound, so it’s a brilliant place to go and see bands (although the toilets clearly have been neglected for at least 30 years and the drinks often have a funky after-taste, but it’s all part of the rustic charm…).
First on were Old Culture, a folkish-sounding acoustic 3-piece with skilful classical guitar and ukulele playing who proved themselves to be an overall pleasant band to start the evening with. Next to take to the stage were The Redundants, who drew in an excitable crowd of 16 and 17 year olds; the Buxton and Hildon bottles being eagerly passed around contained nothing but water, I’m sure. Maybe I should drink more water, judging by the joyous dancing that was going on. If the keyboard player (who went on and off-stage as and when needed it seemed) and the drummer looked less miserable and more enthusiastic, I certainly would have enjoyed their set more. Credit to the charismatic lead singer, the lead guitarist (who was filling in for their regular guitarist) and slap-happy bass player as they held the band together very well. It would have been good to hear more songs like their finisher (“we’ve practiced this a few times so it should turn out alright”), as it was by far their best.
Kassassin Street were the penultimate act and if I wanted something more energetic and enthusiastic, I certainly got it. With some very catchy guitar riffs they were a punchy band all round, and a pleasure to watch. Don’t be fooled by the boyish looks of lead singer Rowan Bastable, he sings and performs with a maturity beyond his years. The guy behind the kit gave the best drummer-faces I’ve ever seen and was clearly putting all his efforts into playing. Their set took an interesting twist when Rowan put down his guitar and focused just on singing as they moved to a more electro style. There was a Macbook which I assumed was performing some weird witchcraft, but it all sounded very good and the crowd clearly liked it too.
At last Dolomite Minor’s moment had come. Drummer Max Palmier admitted he was feeling a bit nervous, and rightfully so, they’d drawn in a decent crowd of all ages. Joe Grimshaw, lead singer and guitarist wore his trademark leather jacket; if it was hot onstage Dolomite Minor weren’t showing it. Their whole set was fantastically atmospheric and stylized, with their Black Keys and Band of Skulls influences shining through. They still have a uniqueness which I often find very hard to come by; Joe sings with an almost American 60s twang and is a very competent guitarist. Opening song ‘Drive’ had me transported to the middle of Arizona where I could have been on a road trip (maybe that’s just me, I don’t know). Anyway, the phrase “fucking amazing” was bandied round a lot of times (the audience’s words, not mine, but hey, I agree entirely!). The stage is where Joe and Max belong. At times I feared Max was going to break his cymbals and smash through the skins on his drums as he hits them with such ferocity, but I needn’t have worried. My personal favourite songs ‘Microphone’ and ‘Rambler’ had the crowd singing along. The band’s lyrics are great and a lot of the choruses are easy to pick up which is great for live performances with such a receptive and animated crowd. The finale included a fantastic instrumental – you never know when they’re about to finish – they build and drop and build up again, but it’s all excellent listening. You don’t really want the song to end because you get so lost in the humming guitar riffs and solid drumming.
An impressive set from the duo, and a very well produced E.P means I’ll be watching their progress with interest. But don’t take my word for it, listen to their E.P, The Velvet Print here.