Dawes @ Academy, Manchester 18.02.12

Sat in the dank surroundings of their dressing room, Dawes’ frontman Taylor Goldsmith chuckles: “Here’s to you Radiohead!”

Feb 18th, 2012 at Academy, Manchester / By Alex Yau
Dawes You join the band on their UK tour who last year placed above the King of Limbs on Rough Trade’s Albums of 2011 with Nothing is Wrong. It’s a testament to how well they’re doing over on these shores, not that they might have noticed. Taylor said: “I feel we’re trying to stay focused on the stuff we have control of and play good shows or write good songs. Sometimes we don’t feel aware of how the record’s been received.” The band played London last night and they return for two dates at the end of this tour. “London was great. They were sold out and the final two shows are too,” explains Taylor. The band had to rush from London to get here because of a session with Dermot O’Leary earlier in the day who they describe as a ‘great guy.’ They’ve also found a fan in Peter Gabriel who tweeted them. Taylor says: “Someone did a cover of our song for the Voice Project which Peter’s daughter works with. I tried to get him to acknowledge us by saying “Thank you so much, Peter!” but he didn’t reply.

Tonight, their first ever show in Manchester is filled with an average of 150 people. The band explains: “We’re quite humble really. We never expected that many people.” Indeed, walking on stage the expression on their faces show how taken aback they are by the people facing them. Opener ‘Time Spent in Los Angeles’ forges a warming start. “You’ve got that tragic set of charms that only comes from time spent in Los Angeles. It makes me want to wrap you in my arms,” shouts Taylor as the crowd nods in appreciation. It evokes images of, less of time spent in the area, and more of kicking up your feet on the dashboard of your cruising car and letting the wind blow your hair. That same sentimental charm carries on with ‘The Way You Laugh’ and ‘When My Time Comes’ – the latter prompting mass sing-a-longs which fill the small venue, and as the crowd’s excitement reaches a climax on closing track ‘Fire Away’, Dawes leave Manchester with a huge impression. Not bad for their first time eh?