InnerCityLive gigs: Doves and Idlewild
Promotors InnerCityLive are leading the way with their one-day outdoor gigs and over the last few years, the City of Hull has had a fair share of the legendary events.
The hidden gem of a venue that is Zebedee’s Yard has played host to the likes of Primal Scream, Happy Mondays, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Rifles, The Wombats, Chase & Status, and many more.
Zebedee’s Yard is an event space which is surrounded by four high walls and when not in use, this is a carpark!… But don’t let you put you off, it is the perfect venue for live music which also has Riverside bars and craft ale boozers only a stones throw away.
The first InnerCityLive gig to be hosted in Hull this year was a very special one by Doves, who made their return announcement In December last year after being inactive since 2010. Support at Zebedee’s Yard came from cult indie band Idlewild, a band who have also had time out of the game until releasing their ninth album ‘Interview Music’ this year, the band’s first album in four years. Later added to the bill were local lads The Hubbards.
Unfortunately, due to congestion coming into Hull we missed The Hubbards, a band who have headlined the City’s Humber Street Sesh, played Y Not Festival and they were also the first band to headline at Hull’s Bonus Arena in 2018! The arena has since had Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and Stereophonics all perform there so The Hubbards sit in good company on that front.
Idlewild were playing one of their latest tracks ‘All These Words’ as we entered through the archway into the venue. Although Idlewild were technically supporting, the band put on a gig which made it feel like a double headline show. Idlewild are a band who have flown under the radar so to speak despite being an active band for over twenty years. ‘American English’ is without a doubt their most well-known tune to the casual fan and even non-fans will know the track if you play it to them so it’s no surprise that this got the biggest sing-a-long from the crowd when played. It didn’t take too long for the arena to start filling up after Idlewild had started and the band instantly grabbed the attention of those in attendance. Playing the tracks ‘Roseability’, ‘When I Argue I See Shapes’ and ‘Love Steals Us From Loneliness’ were all big highlights during the Scottish band’s set.
The band played for 1h 15mins and the passion that Idlewild still showed during this time was amazing to see, this same passion is often lost in bands who have been around for as long as they have. Guitarist Rod Jones was thrashing around on his guitar and when not singing frontman Roddy Woomble would stand to the side and watch the rest of the band like he was their biggest fan, this beautiful sight was most prominent during the band’s cinematic outro to the set closer ‘In Remote Part / Scottish Fiction’.
Doves bowed out in 2010 with a gig at the legendary Warehouse Project in Manchester. The band, mostly Jimi Goodwin always said it was a break from the scene and the whole album then tour cycle. In 2014 Jez and Andy Williams released an album under the name Black Rivers and then Goodwin also released his solo album ‘Odludek’, it looked more likely that Doves wouldn’t be returning.
Late last year the announcement finally came that Doves were coming back with a gig at the Royal Albert Hall for the brilliant cause Teenage Cancer Trust, over the next month more festivals and gigs were announced.
Doves started their set at Zebedee’s yard with the instrumental ‘Firesuite’ which is also the opener on the band’s debut album ‘Lost Souls’. Straight away it was clear to see that no chemistry had been lost between the band during their 9 years away. ‘Snowden’ came next, what Doves do brilliantly is blend between radio-friendly and atmospheric moody tracks, the switch from ‘Firesuite’ to ‘Snowden’ is a prime example of this.
Doves have such a dedicated, hardcore fanbase which allows them to play some more obscure tracks without fans losing interest, other band’s playing the same gig would have to leave these out of their sets because they attract a more casual following. Doves playing tracks like ‘Sea Song’, ‘Rise’ and ’10:03′ shows the clutch that they hold over the fans and these tracks also crank the atmosphere up. It would be easy to just play the hits, these moments when they don’t are the most memorable and they are like the thread that sews the whole set together.
Of course fans also want the hits and Doves played them, ‘Black and White Town’ early in the set was a real crowd-pleaser, with the gig taking place in Hull too and Grimsby being a local rival whose football team wear black and white, this pleased me more than it actually should have. ‘Kingdom of Rust’ went into ‘Pounding’, the latter being arguably Doves biggest hit, like Idlewild earlier in the night with ‘American English’, ‘Pounding’ is a track that everybody knows, fan or not.
A big moment during a Doves gig is when guitarist Jez Williams steps up to vocal duties, this happened during the uplifting track ‘Words’. Jez’s vocals are a little higher and less bassy than Jimi’s, and this a great weapon to have in the arsenal.
Ending their set…Well, before the encore anyway was the cool laid back track ‘Caught By The River’, this had fans dancing along with a Mancunian shoulder jig, similar to what you would see at a Happy Mondays gig but in a way cooler and more laid back way.
Time for the encore, ‘The Cedar Room’ kicked off proceedings, this is a beautiful track which is a real fan favourite and changed the mood again to a more sombre tone. ‘There Goes The Fear’ was next, with its upbeat and uplifting feel it created an emotional rollercoaster with all the twist and turns, the samba outro with Jimi Goodwin heading over to percussion is mesmerising, the whole of Zebedee’s Yard moving to every Brazilian influenced beat and just when you thought that you couldn’t dance anymore, up comes ‘Space Face’!
In the early 90’s the members of Doves were a dance act called Sub Sub, the band were most well known for their track ‘Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)’ but their first track released was in 1991 and was an underground hit titled ‘Space Face’, this has been a tune that Doves have kept alive by keeping it in their set, a 6 minute hacienda tune which is infectious and to see the band play it live is a wonder to all the senses, this also highlights how incredibly talented the band are to be able to switch genres so effortlessly.
Doves are now finishing off their triumphant year of gigs and talk has been circling about new music coming in 2020. I guess you can still class this as a comeback until they do release new music and boy is it good to have them back!
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