A triple threat tonight – with not one, not two, but three headline bands plying their wares at Nottingham’s Bodega venue when the West London record label, Dirty Hit, drops in for its winter tour.
Gig # 12 of a 20-date UK tour, with Oscar Lang, No Rome and Beabadoobee filling the line-up for this second edition of the tour; the first was in 2017 when Superfood, King Nun and Pale Waves provided the excitement.
Many of the dates on the current tour, which kicked off at the end of November in Cambridge and ends in London on 20th December, are sold out. If there’d been any stray cats wandering the streets near this venue tonight, there was not a chance of finding room to swing one at this gig.
Crammed to the rafters, with the capacity 220 or so huddled up nice and warm on a cold December night.
This label celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, having set up in December 2009. An eclectic roster, they have signed some superb bands; including The 1975, Wolf Alice, The Japanese House and Manchester’s current darlings, Pale Waves.
It’s the turn of the label’s latest signings on this tour: Oscar Lang, No Rome and Beabadoobee…
First up is the latest addition to the Dirty Hit family, Londoner Oscar lang who dropped his last release, the EP “Bops ETC”, on Dirty Hit in June this year. The label put out his album “Silk” in April this year, which features Beabadoobee on one track, and seven-track mini album “Teenage Hurt” also in April. The EP “to whom it may concern”, was released in May.
Joined by Eric Pestopolous on guitar and keyboards, Alex Baldwin on bass, Mac Luis on drums and Daniel Bath on guitar, for a half hour set filled with chilled indie vibes that stepped up the energy levels with each song.
Highlights included “Trash”, which received the best response from the crowd, and “Drinking Wine”, an unreleased track. A talented young guy who will do well in the future, I am sure.
Second up to bat was No Rome, the pseudonym of Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, London-based Filipino artist and songwriter. He has had a busy year. Touring as support to The 1975 in sold-out arenas and also on the bill with Pale Waves.
Yet to release a full-length album, but there is a brace of EPs out there to whet the appetite: “Crying In The Prettiest Places” from May this year and “RIP Indo Hisashi” from August 2018.
The Filipino band around No Rome tonight were very much on their game. No Rome delivers mellow and dreamy pop music, a good fit for fans of The 1975, plenty of whom were here tonight, among a predominantly very young crowd.
Throughout the set, Guendoline switched instruments – back and forth between keyboard and guitar – playing songs from both EPs. He gets up close and personal towards the close of the set, a sea of arms and hands in the air around him,as he stands on the very front of the small stage and sings his heart out to his fans who lap it up and show him some love.
He gives 1975 front man Matty verbal respect for co-writing the last song of their set, “Narcissist”, and hands his microphone to some of the crowd to give their friends and families a shout out – some lost for words and missed the opportunity for their five seconds of fame! Maybe next time….
At bang on 10 bells it was time for the last act of the night, the fabulously named Beabadoobee, and even though this tour is equal billing for all three bands, they were probably the most anticipated act of the night.
Beatrice Kristi Laus is another Philippines-born artist, now based in London. (That country has some talent, eh?)
After an eventful 2019 where she released two albums, “Loveworm” and “Loveworm (Bedroom Sessions)”, the EP “Space Cadet” and supported Clairo on a US tour, next year is already looking good, as she will be support to The 1975 on their arena tour.
The stars seem to be aligned for Beatrice lately, as she has just been nominated in the 2020 Brits Awards in the “Rising Star” category. Previously won by Adele, Sam Smith and more recently, Sam Fender. The winner of that award will get to perform at the televised ceremony in February at London’s 02 arena.
On this tour as a trio with drums and bass, this was a sparkling indie-pop set which the whole room greatly appreciated. Many knew the lyrics, and those that didn’t, were dancing their backsides off anyway.
Her most popular songs, “Space Cadet”, “Coffee” and “If You Want To” elicited a reaction that literally shook the room.
But Queen Bea reserved another banger for the last song of the set, “She Plays Bass”, and more than proved – if we did not know already – that this artist is unlikely to be playing intimate venues like this one (and a great venue it is, by the way) for very much longer. He star is rising faster than the next gas bill.
The Dirty Hit Tour is a good example of why supporting and seeing up-and-coming bands is something well worth doing. All three artists on this tour have the potential to be stars, to sell out big venues around the world and to sell shed loads of records.
So by getting off the sofa and leaving social media videos of kittens and pictures of your last meal for a few hours, there’s a damn good chance one day you’ll be pointing at the magazine headlines and TV screens, and saying; I saw him/her/them before they were famous in a lovely wee local venue.
But even if the predictions are out of whack about any of these acts, if we want to see live music venues staying open and bands and singers being able to earn a meagre living doing what they do, we have to buy tickets and give up an evening or two. Even on a school night.
Or in the future, the only way to see decent music will be looking at old video footage on YouTube and reminiscing about the good old days…Use it or lose it, as they say.
Still time to catch a show on this super tour – but do check in case the date is already sold out:
- 12th Dec: Arts Club, Liverpool
- 14th Dec: The Leadmill, Sheffield
- 15th Dec: The Key Club, Leeds
- 16th Dec: The Think Tank, Newcastle
- 17th Dec: King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
- 19th Dec: Gorilla, Manchester
- 20th Dec: The Dome, London
Words & Photos: Andrea Bottino