The Guardian

Review Round-Up #2

The second collection of media reviews for the album. To start things off, the first review for the single Andalucia.

Doves show that heaven knows they’re not miserable now

Since Joy Division and the Smiths, critics have married the words “Mancunian” and “miserablist”. From Elbow to I Am Kloot, it seems a northern soul is always a sad one, right? Wrong. Doves have always demonstrated that they can pen sky-reaching anthems, as their forthcoming Best Of album shows. New track Andalucia is no exception. “The world that we see, belongs to you and me,” sings Jimi Goodwin in a voice that soars higher than the clouds. It seems even heaven knows they’re not miserable now.

Debut Lost Souls remains an enduringly consistent piece of shadowy, orchestral rock, and it could’ve been well represented here by any of its tracks. Despite being posed as the darkness before The Last Broadcast‘s light, Lost Souls gets cherrypicked for its most emphatic numbers. “Catch the Sun” remains the strongest melody Jimi Goodwin has ever written, while the harmonica and guitar peals of the misty “Sea Song” exude a low-key ecstacy. Even the stately, string-led waltz “Man Who Told Everything” is included as a truncated “summer” version.

To read the full review, click here.

The songs on the album have not been ordered in chronological order of release and the band have taken painstaking care to arrange the tracks specifically in the way that they wanted their fans to experience the album. This really works as their four albums varied quite significantly in terms of influences and sound. For example, The Last Broadcast had strong psychedelic rock influences such as King Crimson while Kingdom of Rust was a bold album with snatches of disco, spaghetti western themes, and electronic beats.

If you are going to start with anything Doves at this point, you may as well start with The Places Between, because 4 albums of catch up might be too much in terms of epic rock. There is over 40 songs here, which may seem like a lot, but captures all the best parts of the band . . . the booming bass, haunting vocals, epic soundscapes, and triumphant, tribal drum patterns. They truly are a treasured band, and although The Places Between feels like closure on the band, with 14 previously unavailable tracks on here as well, this is a good place to put Doves in context


To read the full review, click here.

Guardian Interview

A few things to catch up on. Lets start off with a cracking interview that was in today’s Sunday Observer. The band spoke to Luke Bainbridge last week whilst at Jodrell Bank performing a couple acoustic tracks for the Guardian website.

Highlights of the interview include the band talking about bouncing guitar riffs off the Moon like a giant delay pedal, as we reported on last year. Jez also confirmed that Hot Press misquoted him with regards to the coming tour being the band’s last.

Even given their habit of recording in strange locations –including under a flyover on the M62 and a deserted Benedictine monastery –Doves‘ wheeze last year was far-out stuff. Sitting in the shadow of the towering Lovell telescope in Cheshire, guitarist Jez Williams is telling the tale of the band’s cosmic rock experiment here. “I basically used the moon as a massive delay pedal…” he laughs. “It doesn’t get more prog rock than that!”

It’s not quite what Sir Bernard Lovell had in mind when he established Jodrell Bank observatory in the aftermath of the second world war. Lovell was primarily concerned with investigating cosmic rays, and the observatory has since played a key role in the research of meteors, quasars and pulsars. But last year Doves, who have a love affair with Jodrell Bank that stretches back over three decades –to when they visited the site on a school trip –came up with a slightly more rock’n’roll suggestion.

After Jodrell Bank had successfully bounced voice recordings of astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Professor Stephen Hawking off the moon (to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landings) the idea was hatched with resident astrophysicist Dr Alastair Gunn to do the same with a Doves guitar riff. Dr Gunn is a “huge fan” of the band whom he sees at “the pinnacle of British indie rock”, and when he’s not staring at the skies, he plays lead guitar in a local group who cover “Catch the Sun” by Doves (“Pretty well I think!”).

“He had a load of dials on a box. I plugged into it, he just dialled the moon, like you do,” explains Jez Williams, who it’s fair to say is a better guitarist than he is an astrophysicist, “and two and half seconds later it [the riff] comes back. It messes up the signal beyond recognition, it’s pretty wild. We’ve got a recording of it that we’ll definitely use at some stage.”

“Put that in your fucking pipe, Rick Wakeman!” laughs singer and bassist Jimi Goodwin.

The guitar signal was actually sent from Jodrell Bank’s control room, via ISDN, to its sibling radio telescope in Cambridge, which transmitted it to the moon, and then the Lovell at Jodrell Bank picked up the part of the signal that was reflected back off the Doves’ side of the moon… like a cosmic delay pedal.

“You should have been rocking a cape when you did it,” smiles Andy Williams, the drummer and Jez’s twin.

To read the full interview and see an acoustic version of Kingdom Of Rust, click here.

Also check out the video of the first ever interview by parabolic reflectors!

Then yesterday (Saturday) the band performed a couple acoustic tracks for BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary. They performed Andalucia & kingdom Of Rust, they also spoke for a little bit. To hear it it all, head over to the BBC iplayer link from here.

Andalucia live at Jodrell Bank

Head over to the guardian music website to watch a live acoustic performance of Andalucia live at Jodrell Bank. Another track from the session will be at on Sunday. An interview with the band will be in the Observer on Sunday.

Jodrell Bank

Today Doves visited Jodrell Bank in Cheshire to perform a couple tracks for the Guardian Newspaper. Jimi & Jez played acoustic versions of Andalucia and Kingdom Of Rust.

See the video & interview here.

Not a whole lot going on..

As you probably guessed, not a great deal going on in doves world. I have been enjoying the Delphic record. Great news for those of us at the wrong side of the pond, Delphic have been anounced to play Coachella so here’s hoping for a few more shows stateside.

Doves are mentioned in today’s Guardian write up on Delphic and other new Manchester based bands. Hope to catch Delphic (doves would be nice too….) at this year’s Lollapalooza festival here in Chicago.

Cherry Ghost have also put up some new tunes in unmixed form up on the myspace page. Black Fang sounded great live last year, could be a single I reckon?

I see Hooky is opening up a new club in Manchester. FAC251 opens up next month. I wonder what the chances of a doves gig there? Spaceface opener! Would make allot of sense with the history and all. But just pure speculation on my part!!

New Interview With The Guardian

There’s a great new interview with the band from U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, published today. The band chat about losing the #1 album chart spot to Lady GaGa; demanding fans; deceased pets – and their perceived “unglamorous” image…

They have been called “sad-sack blokes who never make bad records”, “weatherbeaten” and “world-weary”.

“What does that mean?” Andy demands of the sad-sack blokes.

“It’s like, slouching in ill-fitting clothes,” Jimi says. “Things are written about us, about our appearance, and I think well, hang about. I get my shirts from Agnès B, darling. You calling me a f***in’ binman?”

To read the full interview, click here.

The Guardian Reviews Kingdom Of Rust

U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, tomorrow publishes its review of the Doves’ Kingdom Of Rust album, but the review is already available online today…

It’s a curious state of affairs – No 1 artists who still carry an underdog aura – but it means that Kingdom of Rust sounds not like a band comfortably consolidating their previous success, but something more exciting: a band unexpectedly, subtly but unequivocally shifting up a gear.

You could argue that Kingdom of Rust is not vastly different from previous Doves albums. Folky guitar figures ground their airier musical conceits; the thud and rush of the dancefloor never seems far away; the more euphoric the music gets; the more miserable everyone in the songs becomes. “Home feels like a place I’ve never been,” protests Goodwin as a preposterously uplifting psychedelic soul stomp called House of Mirrors achieves vertical takeoff.

Click here to read the full review.