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Doves' excellent third album 'Some Cities' finds the melancholic Mancunians at their upbeat best but someone has clearly forgotten to tell this Cambridge crowd: there's an awful lot of shoegazing going on. It's like 1991 all over again.
What these people need is a damn good kick up the arse, and Doves deliver, beginning with 'Pounding' which sets the tone for the rest of the evening: strident, urgent, and played at full tilt. Jimi Goodwin pushes his voice to its very limit. Given that this is a man who in the past could make Ian Brown sound angelic, that's some achievement. In fact, the former Sub Sub cohort has never sounded better. Goodwin does drop a couple of bum notes during a largely luscious 'Last Broadcast', claiming "It all went a bit Les Dawson there" but tonight Goodwin's voice is less fat piano playing Northen club singer more Liam Gallagher - on a good day (which last time this correspondent checked was about 1994).
Goodwin's voice resonates with the sound of a band at the very top of their game, one who finally get Cambridge moving. Perhaps this is best demonstrated by a thrilling final threesome of a skyscraping 'Snowden', 'One Of These Days', and a wonderfully cinematic 'Cedar Room', three songs played with sheer conviction, ones that ooze passion, and sound pure class.
Doves encore with 'Lost Souls' classic 'Here It Comes' and of course the brilliant, samba-tastic 'There Goes The Fear' by which time Cambridge has stopped staring at its shoes long enough to gaze at the stars, which on tonight's performance, and by brilliantly skipping the dreaded 'third album syndrome', is what Doves clearly are.
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