The Art Pop outfit Dutch Uncles performed at the Manchester Academy 2 this previous weekend. This could be described as a ‘home’ gig to the group formed in Marple, Stockport in 2008. Through college, and university this act has honed in on their musicianship, and have become known for their interesting sometimes complex time signatures, and rhythmic patterns…
Supporting them on the bill were the Liverpool group, Outfit who more than played a part in the night overall. The supporting choice was a match made in heaven with both bands flowing through their sets seamlessly with the tonal colours from the same vein. From what I could tell, far more people would have ‘Outfit’ as their latest search on their smart phones the morning after.
The Dutch Uncles selected a very good mix of songs from each of their albums. It seems to me that Dutch Uncles have now perfected their live shows. Well thought out song selection for their fans suggests they have really ironed it out from previous tours. They performed songs such as ‘Steadycam‘, and ‘Doppleganger‘ off their first record they ever made (a mysterious record that, as on interviews is dismissed as their debut and Cadenza being seen as their debut for some reason). They called them the ‘songs made in Marple’. They also made sure to throw in their hits, with songs such as ‘Cadenza‘, ‘Face In‘, and ‘Fragrant‘ in the encore. The big one for me personally was ‘X-O‘ as a guitarist, the combination of the Pete, and Sped on the introduction of this track makes you feel like some form of delay, but it is not. It is just an intricate guitar duet. For those of you familiar with the Dutch Uncles latest album ‘Out of Touch, in the Wild’ you will notice more textures and instrumentation. Mainly a use of a string section. So, backing track? Yeah? No. On stage with the boys from Marple was a Mini orchestra. A three piece string section. Now, bands such as Sigur Ros are renowned for their orchestra sections (Strings/Brass) and now hopefully this will become a part of the Dutch Uncles shows as the string section swelled throughout the room with the songs such as ‘Fester‘. Magnificent. Full. Perfect.
An interesting facet of their live shows can easily be noted even without knowing of their music that they have very intricate timings, which to some of the crowd’s confusion was noted by Duncan (lead singer) when shaking his head, and his finger at the crowd whilst asking them not to clap due to the standard 4/4 clap that is the ‘go to’ clap rhythm for crowds would throw off the musicians. For those musicians in the audience this struck sympathy, but you could not help but grin, or chuckle at the efforts and faces pulled by the band members when crowd members with no understanding of rhythm got it all wrong.
On the 6th of December, 2013, Dutch Uncles performed with an abundance of talent, with a superfluous amount of charisma, and a plethora of technical ability. Thrown all together with the brilliant on stage dance moves of singer Duncan that could only be described as a mixture of Mick Jagger and Ian Curtis. The Dutch Uncles have finished off the year with a statement for next year to people everywhere. You must go see Dutch Uncles perform live. Seriously. Go do it.
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