Earlier this year, dodie shared their phenomenal debut album Build A Problem. Since then the countdown has been on to indulge in hearing the gorgeous tracks performed live, alongside their live band. I’m a frequent attendee of dodie’s performances and always make sure I have tickets for her tour dates. Each time I’ve been in the crowd I’ve been more and more blown away by the performance put on.
Support acts for the evening also added to an already elavatred experience. With Pop Sins favourite, Matilda Mann, opening, followed by Will Joseph Cook, it was a party from the get go. These two artists felt so carefully picked for tour and did not disappoint.
Matilda completely dominated the crowd from the moment she set foot on stage. Sharing old and new music with fans, all while beaming with joy to be stood on stage performing. Matilda’s music is gorgeously soothing and still managed to get an already excited crowd even more energetic for the next acts.
Having previously saw Will Joseph Cook supporting dodie at her 2019 Camden gig, I was thrilled to see him supporting again. With a great stage presence, Will and his band thrilled fans with hit tracks alongside unreleased material. Bashing out perfect summer sounding indie anthems as well as slower tracks, it was a great way to say farewell to summer festivals and a return of indoor gigs.
At a dodie show, there’s always a huge build up to her walking on stage, and this was no exception. With her band on stage and building up the anticipation it was the perfect way to start what was a truly theatrical performance. The instrumental tracks feel hypnotic when listening to them in your own time. Hearing these stunning pieces of music live just shows off the immense talent dodie and her band holds. Drawing you even further and deeper in than you thought possible.
With this being the first tour of Build a Problem being out, there was such a buzz felt within the crowd of everyone waiting to hear these tracks. Build a Problem is an album that works so perfectly being played front to back and taking in the full ride of emotions; however hearing it live and out of the tracklist order didn’t seem to take anything away from the raw outpouring of emotion dodie puts into their music.
Attending dodie’s shows feels truly cathartic. Being surrounded by other people who adore an artist you’ve followed and loved for the best part of a decade is a feeling that’s hard to describe. From watching them grow their audience on YouTube, to making frequent TV and radio appearances, you can’t help but feel proud. There’s a reason dodie’s shows consistently sell out, and it’s because you’re given a night that is more than just a performance of live music.
Over the years, dodie has become a comforting figure within the LGBTQ+ community and her music touches on that beautifully. Fan favourite Rainbow never fails to draw tears from a crowd (myself included.) Sharing the importance of pride and facing the shame that surrounds LGBTQ+ people.
So much care and detail goes into the gigs dodie puts on. With her band adding spine tingling layers to the music, and carefully thought out lights matching the tracks. Not only did dodie share her newest releases, but blended in a mix of older and more nostalgic tracks. Something that truly blew me away was the incredible blend from I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You) into throwback track, Party tattoos. Mixing these felt so natural and something the crowd adored. Another huge treat was a mash up of tracks from previous EP’s and singles.
Dodie’s songs share a lot of personal trauma in such an open way that is beyond brave. Not one to shy away from the tricker subjects she embraces sharing those vulnerable moments with her audience. Human, Guiltless and Cool Girl are all particular stand outs that are a treat to hear live, as well as hearing other people singing their hearts out to. Something special about dodie’s music is having tracks with really sad or deep meaningful lyrics paired with an upbeat pop sound. Keeping you on your toes throughout dodie gets your attention and keeps it.
For the encore we were treated to five incredible tracks. Opening the encore with slow and dreamy If I’m Being Honest, a song that was hilariously interrupted by a fan shouting “Never!” at dodie after the lyrics, “Sadly, I just think that I was disgusting today.” Trying to carry on professionally dodie continued before stopping to say it was hilarious and she wouldn’t have been able to continue without laughing. The tracks continued to build to an explosive ending.
Boys Like You was a track I couldn’t wait to hear live and it held a great moment with the crowd chant along to the catchy chorus before shouting “So watch me fall for every damn stereotype” much to dodie’s excitement. Since its release, Monster, has been one of my favourite tracks. It’s infectiously catchy and has such a unique sound to it. With its electro sounding pops and thumping beats, it’s a perfect track for a live set – it’s so hard not to dance along and just let yourself get a little funky with the dancing. In The Middle is another song that sends the crowd wild and one that always fills the room with a pounding beat. Usually introduced with a fun story about a threesome, it’s one that simply embodies letting yourself go and having fun at a gig.
Ending the encore on another Build a Problem album tracks, dodie quickly dashed off stage to change into the iconic postie outfit worn in the Hate Myself music video. Throughout the entire evening you could see just how much it meant to dodie and her band to be back on stage performing again with a definite feeling of feeling grateful to be back.