Live Review: Dan Croll, Bodega (24/03/14)

Dan Croll, in his own unique style, turns up fashionably late to his own gig – and yet delivers a more than pleasing hour to his audience.

This tour is Croll’s first headline tour in support of his debut album, Sweet Disarray.  Much like his album, at times, he showed flairs of magnificence, and at others, complete indifference. And yet, Croll’s casual name-dropping of London Grammar, Imagine Dragons, and Bastille as bands that he’s supported in Nottingham helped him to soon establish himself as a well-practiced performer, and he proved that he was worthy of his credentials.

Croll’s eyes ever so slightly magnified by his enormous glasses.

A clear-cut example of his unequivocal talent is the standout track, ‘From Nowhere’, in which the real summer vibes had the crowd moving. It was in ‘From Nowhere’ that Croll’s backing band really stood out too – not only is the front man commanding in his performance, but the backing’s excellent rhythm and backing vocals are showcased

Other highlights included ‘Home’ and ‘Thinkin Aboutchu’. Whilst on a personal level, I wholeheartedly endorse the lyric ‘So if you ever come round to my house take your shoes off at the door/ ‘Cause it’s impolite not to; you’ll be damaging my floor’; this is one of the songs that certainly highlights Croll’s slightly quirky side. In a ram-packed Bodega, however, Croll only managed to capture the crowd’s imagination a number of times, leaving the crowd uninspired at times. Croll’s lack of top-notch material appeared to be the root of this problem.

One thing can be said though – the material from Sweet Disarray was much more captivating in person than from the album. The band had an ability to transform the music, and is a fantastic showcase of his decent album.

‘Sweet Disarray’, for example, the title track of the album, was delicately placed in the encore, and had the whole of Bodega blissfully put under a spell, staring into Croll’s magical eyes (ever so slightly magnified by his enormous glasses). The gig may not have been perfect, but Croll is well on his way to being something big. The main weakness can only be identified as the gig being too short – but for a measly £6, who can complain?

The most important thing that can be taken from this gig, however, is that if you are ever lucky enough to be in the position to impress Dan Croll, get him some artichoke – he loves artichoke.

James Mason

James is listening to The Black Keys – ‘Fever’…

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