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演唱會評論 - Doves

Doves Soars High above Dreamy Soundscape
By Charles Tai

On Thursday night, June 9th, 2005, Manchester’s dream-pop trio Doves delivered a high-energy set in front of a packed audience at the Commodore Ballroom, in promotion of their new album, Lost Cities (2005). Charles Tai, co-host of Saturday’s That Chinese Show, was there jumping with joy, even though somewhat bothered that the group could not perform with Mercury Rev as scheduled for the original May 6th date.

For many, the city of Manchester is often associated with their trophy-laden soccer club. However, over the last several decades, the city has also steadily nurtured some of the world’s most influential and classiest musical acts. If names like Joy Division (now New Order), Stone Roses, James, Happy Mondays, The Smiths, and Verve don’t ring a bell, then you are missing out on, quite possibly, the finest bands that have ever graced this planet. And Doves, in my opinion, is bound to have a place in this elite list of Manchester exports.

Not surprisingly, despite postponing their North American tour due to the lead singer’s sore throat and missing the support of New York’s Mercury Rev, Doves still managed to draw a big crowd to fill the 1000-capacity Commodore Ballroom on a Thursday evening. At about 8:45pm, the opening quartet, Book of List, quickly whipped through several songs from their largely shoegaze-influenced repertoire. As soon as they finished their set, a dozen of technical crews stormed the stage to set up an intimidating system of visual effects, completed with three projection screens and an array of strobe lights.

Once the technical flurries subsided, Doves broke the suspense and stepped on stage, with singer Jimi Goodwin on bass, and twin brothers Jez and Andy Williams on guitar and drums, respectively. Right away, they opened with Pounding, an aptly titled track from their second release The Last Broadcast (2002). The song appeared to have put the swaggers in everyone’s feet, and the crowd jumped up and down in perfect synchronicity to Andy’s beats ever since. The energy in the room reached an early peak when the band played the new album’s first single Black and White Town. However, the show’s most poignant moments stemmed largely from materials on their debut Lost Souls (2000), namely The Cedar Room, Sea Song, and Here It Comes.

To my delight, the visual effects accentuated Doves’ performance fittingly. With a canopy of shooting stars and floating imagery as the band’s backdrop, the crowd was treated to an eye-opening multimedia light show. During the five-song encore, the trio performed one of their biggest hits to date, There Goes the Fear. And Jimi joined Andy on drums during the song’s stomping rhythm section, before the group finally leave the stage.

Through out the evening, the bearded lead singer, in his lazy British accent, repeatedly thanked the audience for coming to the show. The crowd replied with piercing “Woo Hoo’s” each time. However, I found it strange that not a single joke was exchanged during the entire night. Perhaps, everyone was just busy taking it all in.

If you wish to take home that warm and fuzzy feeling evoked by Doves, I highly recommend you pick up their second album The Last Broadcast (2002). For more information on the band, please visit their official website:

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