Posted by Maria Pinto-Fernandes.
Reviewed on 2nd April 2008.
Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 20th March 2008
I must admit, I fall in love with songs far too often, but when The Dykeenies' 'New Ideas' first graced my ears, it was love at first listen. And so it is with a sort of decorum that I take my place in The Cockpit tonight, obligatory pint of Fosters in hand. Glasgow's own surprise me tonight in the best way possible, a theatrical entrance with a splendour and grandeur that most indie bands dismiss as being below them. The Dykeenies have it, blasting out a mish-mash of clips from Martin Luther King's speech and somehow managing to display an onstage confidence that never turns into cocksure arrogance. The band inadvertently state that they're fucking glad to be here and their appreciation for all of us who are packing out the main room tonight never wavers.
The Glaswegians are at that critical stage in their career, having released a few singles but not being well-known enough amongst the indie elite. I take their justifiably pompous introductory mixtape as being The Dykeenies' modest fuck-off to the glossed over, elitist game that indie has arguably become as it has continued on its transition from specialist, left-field genre to one as commercial and materially beneficial as pop in its heyday. Admirably, the band acknowledge this dimension of the game they're in and show that they're not intimidated in the slightest.
They immediately launch into a set featuring each gem in their jewel-encrusted albeit limited back catalogue. I'll get my only minor criticism out of the way here and now, and it's something that The Dykeenies themselves can't help, that they haven't got enough songs to play a longer set. What matters though, is that they make every minute count, playing numbers such as the unavoidably heart-wrenching 'Pick Me Up', which if it sounds beautiful acoustic, is elevated to an unstoppable status when played live and electric. 'Stitches' comes alive with equal gusto, remaining the only song to my knowledge which makes singing about stitches all right, when it's done to this standard and performed with such compassion.
My aforementioned all-time favourite The Dykeenies tune 'New Ideas' surfaces at exactly the right point in the set, just before my anticipation for it becomes excruciating. And there we have the yard stick by which a 'good' band is measured in my world. When being at their gig isn't satisfying enough and you must hear your song. 'New Ideas' first graced my musically tuned ears quite some time ago on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show which rightfully remains somewhat of an audio bible to many music fans. It struck me for being wholeheartedly emotional in a genre that can restrict itself with machismo. Hearing my song performed live is ecstasy.
And so I leave The Cockpit walking on air and with a message for you: go find The Dykeenies, it's well worth your while.