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Music In Oxford: Dog is Dead // Boat To Row // Lewis Watson @ Oxford Academy 2- 19.2.12

Posted on the 23 February 2012 by Outroversion @outroversion

Music In Oxford: Dog is Dead // Boat To Row // Lewis Watson @ Oxford Academy 2- 19.2.12

Lewis Watson

Opening with a Skinny Love cover with a simple spotlight on his back and from what I can tell, a “trademark” bobble hat, Oxford’s Lewis Watson regaled an already healthy looking audience with half a dozen or so songs; some his own and some from his upcoming debut EP.  I should mention at this point that Watson is quite well known for his covers and with that his original and mainstream tv exploiting approach to them.

Controlled and clear in voice and with a textbook less approach to guitar playing, sure there were a few mistakes but even early days in his own catalog he’s got a ridiculously strong following (15k twitter followers) and while popular covers can be an attraction I’d suggest a lot of interest is in the potential on show here. I think his may be a journey worth being a part of.

Music In Oxford: Dog is Dead // Boat To Row // Lewis Watson @ Oxford Academy 2- 19.2.12

Boat to Row

A five piece from Birmingham that thankfully you can’t tell are from there. With a vocal style similar to Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, Michael King delivers each song with an understated passion. A fundamentally likeable band with a musical understanding of each other leading to a professional and engaging performance.

Markedly individual songs from a genre with many potential pitfalls, BTR keep away from these well with a driving rhythm andfocused instrumentation rather than folk for folk’s sake. These are poignantly worded, well constructed songs with good time musical interludes to take away from their potentially heavy nature. These guys are easy to listen to and not so insistent that you love them right now but have a self assurance in their music that you will in time.

Music In Oxford: Dog is Dead // Boat To Row // Lewis Watson @ Oxford Academy 2- 19.2.12

Dog is dead

Going to see a band to see one or two songs probably isn’t the worst thing anyone’s ever done. However I think anyone approaching this gig with that mindset will have been blown away by the plethora of great music for them to get their… ears into.

Dog is dead of course, on the back of a glorious festival season in 2009 were featured in Skins and, like many others before then having gained popularity through a mainstream medium have had to spend their time reminding people that they have other songs. Other glorious songs, other wonderful endorphin inducing songs.

From the opening of the set, without prior knowledge you’d be hard pushed to pigeon hole these Nottingham boys. Introducing themselves with a dark, metal opening and following with an almost chillwave offering but the harmonies are still there and pretty soon Trev’s brass is thrust to the forefront of attention.

The outstanding Talk through the Night is another highlight of a great set with expected adulation for Young and with the surprise omission of Zoo but of course the euphoria is reserved for the Glockenspiel Song. One danger of seeing Dog is Dead is that they’ll be stuck in your head for days afterwards but there’s worse things to have in there.

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