Music review: Doves, SWG3 Galvanizer’s Yard, Glasgow

“Has it really been ten years?” pondered bassist and singer Jimi Goodwin, of the near decade which has expired since Doves last toured. “Time flies when you’re not having fun,” he quipped, a reference perhaps to the lukewarm response that has met his solo career in the interim, likewise his sibling bandmates guitarist Jez and drummer Andy Williams’ side-project Black Rivers.

Jimi Goodwin of Doves PIC: Getty Images
Jimi Goodwin of Doves PIC: Getty Images

Doves, SWG3 Galvanizer’s Yard, Glasgow ****

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Reassembled for a round of UK shows and potentially some new recordings soon, one of post-Britpop’s more unlikely success stories resumes. It’s good to have them back – a band who came to rousing indie-rock late after pivoting away from electronic dance music, and never looked nor acted the spring chickens even in their chart-bothering turn-of-the-millennium heyday. “It’s shit being middle-aged, innit?” joked Goodwin, amid a grumble about how he can’t get drunk on stage anymore.

The air was heavy with nostalgia and vape smoke as the Cheshire trio let fly a greatest hits set exclusively comprising tracks from back in the day. As the northern soulful Black and White Town and chiming Words served to remind, when they were good, Doves were decent. But when they were great they were truly magnificent – the self-descriptively titled Pounding being at least one pulse-quickening case in point.

Their two best songs were saved for the encore. More shrewd anthems like The Cedar Room in their arsenal and Doves could have been as big as Coldplay. There Goes The Fear started with Goodwin conducting a mass a capella singalong and ended in an incongruous rush of flamboyant samba drumming, and didn’t sound like it had aged a day throughout. - Malcolm Jack