It’s definitely ironic that a band so full of vibrancy and life are named after a long extinct flightless bird. “The Dodos” are San Franciscan duo Meric Long (Vocals, Guitar) and Logan Kroeber (Drums) and together they create some of the most exciting and unique sounding Psychedelic folk songs around today. New album “Visiter” has rightfully received widespread praise from fans and critics alike creating a buzz around the band and allowing them to soar higher than their namesake could ever dare. The passion and energy of their live shows are only further cementing their reputation as one of the must see bands of 2008, so it was great to get the chance to see them in the dark intimate surroundings of King Tuts.
By the time “The Dodos” appeared on stage at 10.30 the Tuts crowd were more than ready to be blown away by the raucous assault on their eardrums. Although usually a two-piece for writing purposes they are joined on tour by Joe Haener who provides accompaniment on amongst other things the glockenspiel and dustbin. Together the three of them created a cacophony of noise that was at times mesmerising to watch. Meric has been compared to artists such as the late great Elliot Smith and when you study his lyrics and hear his vocal delivery on certain songs it’s easy to understand why. Hidden behind the veil of the bands upbeat frenetic melodies are some dark brooding melancholy lyrics that only add substance to the music they are creating. “Jodi” starts with a Nick Drake-esque melody before exploding with fast paced drumming and intricate finger picking on the acoustic guitar. Joyously it then bursts into the chorus of “we can do this on our own” finishing with programmed Zeppelin like wails. It very much sounded like a band intent on telling everyone in the room exactly what they’re all about. Other highlights of the night included “Walking” which as it does on the album ran seamlessly into “Red and Purple” with it’s catchy out of sync drumming and guitar work rolling into the sing along of “I know that I am yours and you will be mine”. At times Meric’s vocals did get crowded out by his own meticulous guitar playing and Kroeber’s ferocious beating of the drums, but ultimately you don’t mind as it feels like the swirling mass of musicianship is meant to be chaotic, unpolished and bursting with spontaneity.
The band left the Tuts stage to mass cheers and set off on their way to York to meet the Duchess (it’s a venue not a person by the way) hopefully with good memories of a trip to one of Scotland’s finest venues. One thing that’s certain is that the phrase “dead as a dodo” does not apply here to a band that you feel could just be on the cusp of creating something truly great.