Doves : London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Doves[/url] are in full flight...

FLASH! CRASH! BA-DOOM-BA-DOOM-BA-DOOOOM!! As ‘There Goes The Fear’ erupts, Jimi Goodwin beats wild jungle rhythms from his stand-up bongo and we’re sucked into the Doves supernova, blitzed blind by a strobe-lightning apocalypse. As the point where they sidestepped El Capo Ashcrofto’s dadrock mafia and headed into far more lavish territory (and straight into the Number One slot for two weeks), ‘The Last Broadcast’ is Doves‘ Big Bang. And tonight we get it full in the face.

From ‘Intro”s ominous opening chimes and ‘Pounding”s impression of a 500-foot Stone Roses we’re no longer stroking our chins at a bunch of puggly Manc beardos making clever, pleasant but ultimately quite boring Big Noises for an hour (see Doves around the time of ‘Lost Souls’). We’re picking them off the floor at the Verve-on-Venus pomp of ‘Words’, the anthem for starry-eyed immigrants ‘New York’ or ‘Satellites’, which resembles a full pentecostal choir in a tunnel underneath Brand’s Hatch. Where ‘The Cedar Room’ was once a diamond in the rough, now it’s the cherry on a sumptuous rock gateau – topped only by a throbbing rock version of ‘Space Face’ (from when Doves were sampler-bothering techno-baggyists Sub Sub) with its tongue so far in its cheek it can taste the back of its eyeballs. As a dual nod to their shady past and a raised glass to their delectable future as the 2001 monoliths of indie, it rocks bells. Doves are in full flight.

Mark Beaumont