What do Suede, Madonna, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and The Stone Roses all have in common?
Answer: They are all name-checked by Dum Dum Girls front-woman Dee Dee Penny when describing their current record and, to be fair to her, on Thursday’s evidence, she’s kind of on the money.
Displaying an odd mix of sugar-coated pop with a strong undercurrent of haunting melancholia, the band steamrolled through their set with fervour and there was a real sincerity behind Penny’s vocals. If it’s at all possible that a band can evoke the feeling of a film, then Dum Dum Girls kind of make me think of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), where under the façade of the sunshine and white picket fences there’s a darkness lurking, if you just scratch the surface a little.
Crowd interaction was kept to a minimum on the night but when Penny did address the audience there was a genuineness to her, especially when she proclaimed how happy the band were to be back in London. Lost Boys and Girls Club, Rimbaud Eyes, Are You Okay? and final encore track Coming Down were all highlights of a thoroughly intoxicating spectacle.
There’s no doubt that the captivating Dee Dee Penny is the jewel in the Dum Dum Girl’s crown and with a front-woman like her, you can’t help feeling that the sky is the limit for this band.
For those that are new to them then a fantastic starting point would be to check out the Bret Easton Ellis scripted short film/music video for Are You Okay?
An hour with the Dum Dum Girls makes for an enriching encounter and their UK and Ireland tour now takes them on to Manchester, Leeds, Norwich, Glasgow, Belfast, Galway, Dublin and Bristol. If you can lay your hands on a ticket then we’d urge you to go and check them out. Current album Too True is out now on the Sub Pop label.
Photos by @harryjroth