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Dido homecoming gig gets mostly positive review in Dotmusic


Gig Played: Wed 7 Feb 2001

Dido has been hitting it big in the States off the back of her collaboration
with Eminem and has come home to do the same thing here. This is her first ever
London gig and she doesn't mind admitting she's been "sh**ting it all day." But
with her New York based band, with whom she's been touring for two years,
there's no need for bicycle clips.

The Scala is sold out. Many of the people in the crowd seem to live in
Islington and own at least one Morcheeba CD. Dido is right up Yuppie street
alright and a couple of her tracks could easily be used to flog cars on TV. Her
music is slow, mellow, melodic and well done. From soft love songs to more
obsessive sounds, Dido's set is punctuated by some really cool touches. Her
voice lilts to give it an almost folksy sound, similar in fact to Andrea from
The Corrs.

Effects and scratching from live decks, melodic acoustic guitar riffs, smooth
bass, spooky keyboards and a big bass drum sound play off each other and
combine to deep and funky crescendos or fade to the creepy, edgy vibe you might
associate with Portishead.

But the real wicked thing about tonight's gig is the percussion department.
Drums, decks, bongos and more bongos bat away intricate rhythms that stamp
Dido's tracks out. From trancey slow intros to banging Samba-style choruses the
beats, scratches and occasional glockenspiel build a funky edge into what
otherwise might be considered pretty plain material.

"I wrote this as a simple love song, but people say it's a bit dark and
obsessive so I think I've got problems!" she tells the crowd before current
single 'Here With Me'. Her lyrics are about heartache and happiness, love and
loss. The songs undulate between euphoric peaks a la Moloko and contemplative
ballads, hushed vocals and slow beats.

'Thankyou' - the track which has made Dido via Eminem, is a soft, sweet love
song in her hands. It's weird listening to it without the rapping as every
radio station has been playing it four times an hour for the past two months.
The crowd love it. She finishes the set with a blast of those bongo beats,
Spanish guitar and English Rose vocals with 'Hunter' and a one song encore of
'Don't Think Of Me'. Welcome home.

Iain Campbell