#12 The Doubtful Sounds, Wine Cellar

3 November 2017


Under the Radar alerted me to the Doubtful Sounds gig, so I checked out their website. I'm impressed with any band whose website has their entire catalogue of recordings. I was taken in straight away by Fell in Love, which is straight out of the Sneaky Feelings style, not to mention carrying something of Don McGlashan - and for me bringing the two together is a grand thing in any pop song.

And the Wine Cellar was the perfect venue for a laid back evening of sweet sounds, enlived by a sense of hope that the new political landscape is bringing. It was to be fair pretty much the main topic of conversation between Paddy, Linda and me as we headed to K'Rd - that and what's a guy gotta do to get a park around here (take a bus!)?

First up we were treated to Little Wave, a collaboration of Matt Cawte and Jan Goldie, playing three originals and a cover. We were there only just in time to hear Under Golden Skies and Hold Your Arms Around Me, both enough to make me keen to hear their forthcoming debut album. Although a work in progress, they gave us a fine blend of soft melodies and gentle harmonies to ease into the evening.

Kent Mori.jpg

And then Kent Mori took the stage. His was a superb acoustic guitar performance, with breathtaking deployment of a looper to add layers of melodies and backing rhythm, all generated live from the one guitar. Worth the admission fee alone, and I will be seeking him out again.

The Doubtful Sounds performed a mix of songs off their first two albums (the red and blue ones), as well as some new ones off their forthcoming yellow album. A standout for me was 3:22, named after the length of the perfect pop song. There's indeed something to be said about 'books about music' - and anyone who loves Matthew Bannister's Positively George Street as much as I do is definitely in my good books. 

Matt Cawte and James Noble deliver an upbeat jangly style, with a cheerful lift and catchy rhythms. But James in particular weaves some darker forces into songs like Red Sky and Lighthousekeeping. They own what they do, and they do it with heart.