April 4 Tonight’s show was the first of many London visits that Dark Dark Dark expect to make in 2012 as they prepare to record the follow-up album to 2010′s Wild Go with an October release date in mind. With next month’s studio time set in stone, it makes sense that the band would want to take the opportunity to break away from the sounds of that album, and so the setlist was comprised largely of unfamiliar material and older songs from their 2008 debut The Snow Magic. Often when bands do this it can be a bit of a letdown, but not so with these talented Minnesotans. Each new song was lapped up by the crowd, with every accordion flourish, tempo change and drum fill suggestive of a potentially brilliant album coming our way.
Unlike their previous London show, none of tonight’s songs featured Marshall LaCount up front. Focusing on the banjo and clarinet, which give Dark Dark Dark’s music so much of its unique character, he ceded all lead vocals to Nona Marie Invie over on the piano. It’s not a bad move, as Nona’s voice is undoubtedly the more accomplished, but an interesting observation nonetheless. In a further shift, Walt McClements took over all accordion duties, at one point even playing it while puffing out on the trumpet. Chief among the familiar highlights was the ever-wonderful ‘Daydreaming’, which drew excited gasps from the crowd as the first piano strikes fell, plus fellow Wild Go standouts ‘In Your Dreams’ and ‘Something For Myself’. A double encore of tracks from their 2010 Bright Bright Bright EP – a cover of Elephant Micah’s ‘Wild Goose Chase’ and their own ‘Bright Bright Bright’ rounded off the evening on a high.
Photographed by Wunmi Onibudo.