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AAA Music | 19 May 2024

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The Dears @ The Borderline

| On 23, Apr 2011

London, 18th April

I was impressed that The Dears had chosen to play two sold out nights at The Borderline, rather than one at a less intimate venue.

They opened with ‘Omega Dog’ from their new album ‘Degeneration Street’. Singer Murray Lightburn wooed the audience with his stunning falsetto vocals, backed by spooky synths and and an addictive, almost reggae influenced guitar from Patrick Krief, who savours the chance to rock out at the songs guitar led climax. Brilliant.

The six piece band are rather crammed onto the Borderline’s compact stage, but seem to be having an awful to of fun, constantly joking around, which is quite infectious.

The set also included various ‘absolute classics’ as Lightburn kept introducing them including the much loved ‘Lost the Plot’.

Towards the end the band left the stage and Lightburn played a short solo acoustic set. Much of the audience sang along for a charmingly raucous version of ‘The Second Part’. It was at this stage Lightburn announced that he was rather drunk. Other than slightly fumbling over ‘The Second Part’s intro, this didn’t effect his playing at all, though it did lead to some somewhat rambling banter in between songs. Disappointingly his offer to pay for a pint of vodka mixed with brandy for the audience, if only the barman were brave enough to make it, was not taken up.

After this interlude the band rejoined him on stage and they played through a few more songs before finishing, though I have to admit that as I’m not a Dears-devotee, my attention had somewhat wandered by this point. I think this was a show that was successful for serious fans, they got to hear much of the new album played through and plenty of older materiel was thrown in. But for the casual gig goer, aside from a few moments of brilliance, including a song sang in part by keyboardist Natalia Yanchak and the excellent ‘Omega Dog’, I can only say it was a little dull.

Author: Laura Oliver