The Dø – Hoxton Bar and Grill, London – Live review

Originally published: NME

The idea of a French/Finnish indie pop duo is enough to send a shudder down the spine of the average man. But as The Dø takes to the stage in front of throng of Euro-pop loving proponents, the only sensation that is felt is one of fondled balls in excitement and anticipation. Returning to the capital for the first time since the release of their second album ‘Both Ways Open Jaws’, the duo of Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy are in sprightly form – and the crowd are more than happy to be showered in their saccharine, scattered pop.

Continuing on from their ambitious and fun-filled debut, 2008’s ‘A Mouthful’, the group persevere with their augmented pop in their new output. Opener ‘Gonna Be Sick!’ lopes to a loose reggae beat and, similarly, the M.I.A.-inspired ‘Slippery Slop’ continues to warm and unwind the audience with its Caribbean lilt. All good, you would think, but as the live five-piece get into their groove, there are moments when you feel like you’re watching the whitest band alive take on funk in all its gaudy derivatives. And Olivia (dressed in a pink tutu) and Dan (wearing a porkpie hat) do little to help the awkward imagine as they skank and bound across the stage.

In spite of this, their set is executed with precision and finesse. ‘Playground Hustle’, ‘On My Shoulders’ and ‘Aha’ are well-received, and hallmarks of their genre-spanning innovative pop. Just a pity they look like spanners doing so in the process.

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