First of all, look at me spoiling you all with content so close to each other (I am going through a ‘writing’ phase so enjoy it while it lasts). Also, secondly welcome to my first ever concert review. Well, it’s not a review but more of a recap of my experience. So last night I went to see Dodie at o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It was my Christmas present from Martin – who also very kindly joined me at the concert despite it not having a mosh pit, which meant he consequently didn’t know what to do with himself the whole time.
My experience really started before the concert even began with some awesome food from VX London. I’ve wanted to try this place for a while and it didn’t disappoint. The food for London wasn’t too expensive; it had lots of garlic (which, along with spice I love) and it was quiet because it was Easter Sunday so we had seats.
I had the Meatball Sub (£5.50) with just plain chips (£2.50) and Martin had a Pulled Pork sub (£7.00) with cheesy chips (£3.50). Also, just because I realise not everyone will know everything at VX London is vegan! In terms of the food I’d definitely recommend the cheesy chips (I made a mistake not getting them!) and the meatball sub I had was great. The pulled pork sub was also nice but it was meant to be spicy (for me it wasn’t, ha, ha) and I prefer pulled pork options with bbq sauce.
We also shared a slice of rainbow cake (£4.20), which was amazing, the icing was beautiful and the cake wasn’t too sweet, which is sometimes an issue with rainbow cake for me. We couldn’t finish it because VX was just so filling (which I sometimes find to be a struggle with some vegan options because we both eat a lot!). This would be a great spot to grab some subs in the summer to take to have a picnic at Hyde Park or down at the canals near Camden. My only criticism would be is that it felt like something I could have made (minus the incredible cheese sauce on the chips, which I’ve been trying to crack in my head ever since) but that is one of my favourite types of food to eat out because I’m lazy. And by what I can make, I mean stuff I can cook but done in a lot of ways better.
I’ve also been trying to pick up more souvenirs from trips out so I picked up this pretty awesome ‘I Love Vegan Junk Food’ sticker to stick on the side of my comics box.
After the food we headed to the concert and arrived at around half 6 (doors opened at 7). Unsurprisingly there was a long queue and after walking for what felt like a mile down the queue we eventually got to the end, and parked ourselves outside a house that said ‘St Martins’ so I decided it was fate (for those not in the know my partner in crime is called Martin). We quickly felt very old as most people looked about 14 (and there was a lot of very ‘done’ parents waiting with people in the queue – but also a mum in a flower crown in flower crown solidarity with the people she was taking to the concert).
We also noticed the queue was generally older the more you got towards the back (I think with the decline of our youth us oldies also have lost the enthusiasm to queue). However, the girls in front of us in the queue I swore were like 16, but then started talking about university and smoking (I wanted to rip the cigarette out of their hand and tell them they weren’t old enough, ha, ha). Martin was also the tallest person there, which although is common at other places we’ve had contenders and I think it kind of highlighted the age of the audience. It was also unsurprisingly a female audience, as I think Dodie is brilliant in capturing the feeling of what it feels like to be a girl growing up. It did however mean once we were inside there was virtually no queue for the male bathroom in comparison to the ladies.
After going to the loo and listening to some of the first support act Fenn Lily (who I wish I could have heard more of – I’m going to have to check them out); I bought my merch (after a long conversation with Martin, which I’m sure he loved about what I should buy). In the end I went with the Party Tattoos jumper (£35) and pin (£5( because I love that song and I wanted to get things I knew I hadn’t seen on the online shop. The jumper however does run smaller than the Promises one, which runs quite large, so that’s something to take into account.
The next support act Skinny Living were great and another one I’m going to have to listen to. I can only hope they bring the same energy to the recordings, as they do their live performances.
And then there was Dodie.
I’ll start by saying try as I might I couldn’t see a lot of what was going for the majority of the concert (perils of being small). Also, the bar was in front of where I was trying to see (why would you put the bar there?!). However, I will say the set was beautiful, there were flowers hanging from every mike stand and from the ceiling and it looked like a ethereal dream. The lighting was also brilliant and emphasised the performances, which I think can be a hard skill to do.
I also loved hearing Dodie’s songs with the weight of her band behind her (the violinist was also ridiculously good). The atmosphere was also a very nice inviting place (I saw lots of pride flags, which made me happy). Martin was very happy as well when Dodie closed on ‘The Middle’ as that was the only song he knew. I was just happy to hear the song meaning confirmed (it’s about a threesome).
My only ‘con’ was that sometimes it was actually difficult to hear the band over the screaming crowd (though they all could hold a note!). I can understand the enthusiasm though, I think it was just the oldie in me tutting whenever there were screams when Dodie spoke. I also think because a lot of Dodie’s songs are quite chill (or sad as she put it) I’d like to have had a seat (I can’t remember if that was an option – shoot me if it was). Also, the meanings behind of the songs obviously made me brew a little – after all, I am the queen of just letting life pass me by.
Because I’m me I was upset as well that I didn’t get to properly see Dodie’s outfit.
As for Dodie’s April Fools moment. I’m personally not a fan of April Fools at all so it wasn’t for me (I just don’t see why you’d want to raise someone’s expectations and crush them/ I wanted to see Demi Lovato, ha, ha). I think it didn’t help that Martin got genuinely excited for a minute as well, which upset me more. I managed to calm down by the time the next song ‘Absolutely Smitten’ had finished though. Overall, don’t get me wrong I can see why it’s funny and harmless – I just really don’t like April Fools (also it was after 12pm so my guard was down).
Other than that my only other con was the rain afterwards, which obviously was not Dodie’s fault but meant my merch got wet, as well as me. Plus, as I told Martin rain is only acceptable in Paris (though I will admit the noise is nice and I like the snuggling up in a blanket bit afterwards but that’s it).
Overall, I think I would love to see Dodie again but be able to have a seat (and hopefully see the stage more) or alternatively see her play at a concert in the park (I think Dodie and a picnic would be a great combination). It was though a deliciously good day and I am grateful for my annoying-but-wouldn’t-want-to-go-with-anyone-else company. The experience also made me love concerts again – I need to see Paramore and loudly scream Rose Colored Boy (I will use the American spelling only because Paramore are American).
April (April is the Cruellest Month)