Venue: The Duchess, York
Date: Friday 1st January
The quandary I feared in writing this review is the point of contention critics must dispel: bias. In the first instance, I truly love The Duchess. Miles away from home it allows me to indulge in a hint of nostalgia. Friday evening the place held hostage to students, punks and gentlemen in ill-cut suits alike. The meagre crowd standing before The Savoy Ballroom signify why I so love this band. This is the second predicament I was to face that evening in abandoning all bias. You do not need to fit a certain manner of individual to love this band, and that, to me, signifies great music.
Despite the cry of my bank account as I handed over £12 at the door, despite the grumpy disposition of my post-hangover gloom and the sheer force of which the disgruntled barmaid threw me my change, I haven’t enjoyed a night like this in a very long time. The Savoy’s set led forth a night of fun and dancing which mirrored the extraordinary energy with which they perform. These guys have a sense of cool and exuberance which I fail to aspire to every day.
Opening with ‘Knitters Curse’, the tone of the evening was set for the night with the regalement of a friend who, whenever she knitted something for a guy, would promptly find herself lacking a boyfriend (needless to say, that scarf I’ve been knitting has since been left untouched). With thrilling harmony, concise energy and husky vocals, my night was filled with laughter offset by their often satirically melancholy lyrics.
A personal favourite of mine, ‘Maps’, once again originated from the quirky antics of a friend who collected maps and happened upon a competition in which she won stacks of maps signed by the likes of Ben Fogle. Another song has been founded after a hotel in which we were advised to avoid “unless drugs and hookers are your thing”.
Oh, how I could go on, but my word count denies me of that pleasure. There’s truly something of this band which shivers through me from my toes to end in one hell of a smile.
The fact of the matter is, I can’t help but love them for what they are and all they try not to be.