DUM DUM GIRLS: Covers.

21 03 2015

When a band/singer covers a song and it sounds exactly like the original, it’s pretty dull. When they take the song and make it their own, that’s when you know you’ve found something rather special. Cat Power’s covers usually sound better than the original because she seems to put a lot more into it. She’s someone who makes it easy to pick up on every feeling imaginable when you hear her sing, whether it be her own song or a cover.

Dum Dum Girls have covered a number of songs and I probably should just list them all to make it easier (for myself) but I’ve managed to narrow it down to a solid 5. I’ve looked over it a few times and so far, I don’t think I want to change it but there’s still time.

Sorrow (The McCoys)- Aside from being known for their massive hit, Hang On Sloopy, The McCoys sang the gorgeous Sorrow which has been covered by many mod bands in the 60s. Dee Dee’s take on the song is stripped back and her voice adds vulnerability to it which is slightly missing from any other version I’ve heard. All this song does is show you how delicate Dee Dee’s voice is and how she makes you feel she wrote this song for you to really REALLY feel in your gut. With all songs Dum Dum Girls have covered, they manage to make you feel like the song was never created by another, and it is such a hard thing to do. It’s a hard thing to do well,and they truly exceed any expectations someone may have from a cover song.

Sight Of You (Pale Saints)- Their cover of this makes me want to take a long walk through New York City in the bitter cold during a blizzard. They make this shoegaze classic into a psychedelic whirl, you feel as if you’ve dropped acid and are in the late 80s/early 90s at some kind of Mancunian party with The Stone Roses. It is a stunning cover, it’s one of my favourite covers ever because like with The McCoys cover, you really do feel as if Dee Dee sat down one day and poured her heart and soul into this timeless song. Sight Of You is one of those songs (for better and worse) that makes you think of someone your brain shouldn’t. It happens to us all, it doesn’t matter who you are. There’s less pain in their version but more sadness. Sure the two are linked, but pain and sadness can be so different at times which is why I love their version of this song. It’s a euphoric gem, DDG style.

Be My Baby (The Ronettes)- Maybe I shouldn’t mention this one because the quality of the video online isn’t too great, but Be My Baby is easily one of the greatest songs ever written and many who have covered it have really not done it justice at all. What caused me to become a fan and fall freely in love with Dum Dum Girls music was their ability to sound like a 60s girl band, mixing wall of sound with a strong Punk DIY ethic. I adore that so much, and a lot of bands I love manage to capture that feel in their music. Personally, I feel Dee Dee’s vocals are wonderful to listen to because she reminds me so much of singers I love such as Ronnie Spector, Shirley Manson and Patti Smith. When you see DDG live, you can see the attitude and strength of those singers when she performs. If anyone can do this song justice, it is Dum Dum Girls.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)- For me, covering a song by The Smiths or Morrissey is sacrilege. But, I can make exceptions when the cover is equally as great as the original. The Smiths version makes you feel alright with feeling lost, vulnerable and alone. Dum Dum Girls cover is a breath of life. It isn’t as sullen as The Smiths, but there is something equally fragile about it. There is no other band that I can think of that could make this song feel right as a cover. This song is one I hold dear to me, like most fans of The Smiths/Morrissey do. If they were to cover another song by them I would definitely love to hear them take on Please,Please,Please Let Me Get What I Want. There’s no doubt in my mind that Dee Dee could hammer home the vulnerability and sacredness of that song. They could probably cause you to breakdown if they covered I Know It’s Over.

Zombie (The Cranberries)- I found this clip on YouTube by accident, and sometimes accidents are wonderful things. This live clip is bloody brilliant. Dee Dee gets the pain across in this song, Zombie is full of pain and rage. Dee Dee unleashes this so beautiful with Andrew, Sandy, Jules and Malia adding fuel to the fire. This is definitely my favourite cover they’ve done so far. You can tell they’ve played this song over and over, and have paid close attention to every tiny little detail in the song and created their own version which doesn’t shy away too much from the original. I would love them to put this in their live shows as it really shows how strong they are as a band. Dee Dee has a delicate voice, and is so clear. With this cover of Zombie, even a non fan of the band would fall in love. Although it doesn’t take much from the original, they all manage to convey the message of the song and make it still as powerful and relevant more than before.

Of course it is worth mentioning that their version of Oh Those Eyes (The Vagrants) and Baby Don’t Go (Sonny Bono) are nothing short of stunning, and there are so many songs I’d love to hear them take on. In particular I’d love to hear them do a version of I Think I’m Paranoid and/or The Trick Is To Keep Breathing, and probably You Look So Fine by Garbage. That would be perfect. Ask The Angels by Patti Smith, I Wanna Be Adored by The Stone Roses and Who Loves The Sun by Velvet Underground, maybe something by Nick Cave for sure. I could go on and on, but you get my point. They just take songs and make you forget they are covers. Not only does it make them stand out as a band but it just makes me love their music even more.





DUM DUM GIRLS/CROCODILES. Scala. 1st May 2014.

3 05 2014

 

Live music is a powerful thing; seeing your two favourite bands live on the same night is truly something else. You don’t always think it will happen, but when it does you immediately feel part of something. And as an unsure and uncomfortable 27-year-old, I can safely say that music makes me feel part of something. I’m not sure what, but it’s just me and some music. I guess it’s not really anything at all, but we cling onto what we have because we’ve been without for so long.

Before the show I interviewed Dee Dee in the toilets backstage and we shared some whiskey. I’ll write it up over the weekend, when I feel like I am able to do so. It’s one thing to have a quick photo with a band you admire but it goes beyond words when you get to talk to them for half an hour about their music, Patti Smith amongst other things. I’ve spent part of today wishing I had asked Dee Dee some other things, but maybe next time. Who knows.

Both bands are very dear to me, and to finally see them live together was a beautiful experience. Crocodiles set was just Charlie and Brandon, just like how they first started. I never got to see them live as a duo, so this was really special. What did it for me was Jet Boy Jet Girl, a cover song originally done by Elton Motello. The song oozes sexual decadence and sinister wit, themes which sometimes flow through songs by Crocodiles. A brilliant cover and sounds even better live. They even played one of my favourites from Sleep Forever; Hollow  Hollow Eyes. Their shows as a duo is equally as passionate and as bold as it is with a full band, and for me it was a pleasure to witness live as I fell in love with their sound back in 2009 when they were still performing as a duo. It was honestly like falling in love with your favourite band all over again. I’m fairly sure I could have worded it better, but if you were there and you love them as much as I do- then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

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Watching Charles play the guitar is totally mesmerising, he just makes you wish you could hold a guitar and play it in the most brutal way possible. Throw Brandon’s haunting voice in there, and you’ve got a solid duo that have a sound that towers over the mundane shit you are exposed to. Crocodiles music really comes to life when you see them live. They are quite simply, a band you’ve got to see live. Brandon and Charlie make you want to find a like-minded individual and make your own noise; it’s never too late. Remember that. It’s so good to see both of them lose themselves in the music; Charles throws his guitar about and Brandon gloriously flails his limbs on stage. I just love their sound.

photo 1*My photo but not my hand.

I don’t know where to begin when writing about Dum Dum Girls, but they take to the stage and open with the gripping Mine Tonight. End Of Daze was (and of course still is) a truly beautiful EP. An EP that makes you want more and more from the band, but is also the perfect way to follow-up on previous releases. The setlist from their Scala show was nothing short of perfect; from the enthusiasm that echoes throughout Bedroom Eyes to the sheer romanticism flowing through Rest Of Our Lives. What I adore about Dum Dums is that when you see them live, you really do witness a band that love what they do, and of course, they love each other. The thing Dee Dee wanted the crowd to take from this show (and the rest of the tour) is love. Love for each other, for their fans and for what they do. As you watch them on stage each of them fall into the music in their own way. Malia moves freely on the stage with the bass, Sandy beats the shit out of the drums and leaves you in awe of how someone can play like that, Andrew sways at the back in an angelic fashion (and has beautiful hair), Jules smiles at the crowd as she sees those who are really feeling the songs and Dee Dee prowls the stage like a wild cat. Each of them lure you in with their sheer passion for what they do. If you don’t love what you do, then don’t do it.

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Like Crocodiles, Dum Dums are a band I would (and won’t) ever grow tired of seeing live. The way the songs come to life on stage is enough to make you have a little cry. I’m not ashamed to admit I got teary eyed during Are You Okay (it’s the “I’m reckless at night, I’m sorry for days”line that really hits me in the heart) and of course, the last song of the night Coming Down does something to me that not many songs do. Anyone who has heard this song knows which part exactly that does something to them. As soon as Dee Dee hits that high note, you feel weak but also a wave of strength hits you. Coming Down is a song I turn to when everything just seems askew, and to finally witness it live and to sing it back to the band is a gorgeous experience. If you’re going to do a review of a show, you might as well put your all into it. I really don’t get why you wouldn’t. I wish I had the money to have gone to more than one show, because they really are one of the strongest bands I have seen live. To see them lose themselves in the music and to bring it all to life is nothing short of inspirational.

photo 1(1)*Again, not my hands!

One thing I have noticed (okay so I’ve only seen them twice) is that those who attend a Dum Dums show make for a lovely crowd. There is no dickish or loutish behaviour. People are there for the most important thing; the music and the love for it.

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DUM DUM GIRLS- Rimbaud Eyes (video)

24 04 2014

 

Next week Dum Dum Girls are coming back to the UK along with Crocodiles for let’s face it, the best tour of the year. Nothing else really matters because these two bands are quite simply, the best at what they do. In my biased opinion, Too True is the best record of the year. Dee Dee has a gorgeous way with words (just listen to Trouble Is My Name and you’ll see how she truly gets to the core of nagging emotions.)

Their next release is the ethereal Rimbaud Eyes which is another creative collaboration with Tamaryn who directs the video. Personally, I think Tamaryn should just work with DDG on every music video because their relationship really does bring the music to life. It is just a beautiful collaboration.

Rimbaud Eyes video has a similar psychedelic feel to it that is found in Bedroom Eyes (taken from Only In Dreams) and what I really adore about Dum Dum Girls music is their way to always make you feel as if you’re in a dream. The video is part cartoon and part wishing you could swish your hair about like them. Especially Andrew’s heavenly locks.

I don’t need to write anymore about how stunning the video is, just watch it:

Go get yourself a ticket to their shows next week!





DUM DUM GIRLS-Trees And Flowers.

21 01 2013

dumdum-girls

“Dawn cracks the dark,
And it breaks the silence.
Of my waking hours,
And  my heartbeat’s license.”

I was walking home earlier, and for most of the journey I had one song on repeat. I do this a lot; find a song to love and just play it until my ears no longer wish to hear it. Of course when it comes to Dum Dum Girls (and others) there are songs of theirs I will never grow tired of. As I was walking, I had a thought; and this is where it gets dangerous. Stop reading.

I was listening to DDG’s cover of Trees And Flowers on repeat as I was walking home. I felt, even though Dee Dee didn’t write the song, she summed up every little thought floating around me- in head and heart. I walked and carried every single word. You see, I have this fear (you could call it me being stupid if you want) that I’m going to be one of these people who die having done nothing of worth. I know we create our own self-worth and shouldn’t let others define it, but there comes a time where people’s views on you just drains you. Their expectations crush you, and you want to remove yourself from them. 26 being treated like a 6-year-old. You build up resentment towards people. But you cannot express it, so you turn it into self-resentment. It’s easier to dislike yourself and beat yourself up than it is to let someone else do it. Thing is, people are cruel. To each other and to themselves. Not everyone is gentle and kind. Not everyone wants to be. I try, and one day I’ll grow tired of trying.

“For I hate the trees,
And I hate the flowers.
And I hate the buildings.
And the way they tower over me.
Can’t you see.
I get so frightened,
No one  else seems frightened.
Only me.”

I wish I could write as beautifully as this, but I just write honest nonsense that holds no worth. Or I just need to find something I’m good at. One day, one day. And typically so, it will be too late.

Trees And Flowers is a guide and a safety net. I have unspoken fear within me, and I’ll keep it unmentioned for I don’t think we should discuss our fears because people will use them against you. Sometimes they will be obvious with it, sometimes they will be subtle. Regardless of how they do it, they sure will. DDG’s version of this song adds a lot more loneliness and vulnerability to it compared to the original by Strawberry Switchblade. Dee Dee’s voice has never sounded so pure and vulnerable. If you’re going to cover a song, you should make it your own. Dee Dee goes beyond this. She makes you feel as if she wrote it, and she wanted to share this frightening feeling with whoever hears it, so they felt less alone with what they carry around with them.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong with all of this. Maybe I am. I don’t strive to ever be right and it doesn’t bother me admitting when I’m wrong. I worry when I’m right or if anyone should agree with me. A worrying thought for sure. I do constantly worry that my own (lack of) self-worth is going to do a lot more harm than it should, the only solution to it is out of my hands. In the space of 7 days I have sent out 50 job applications. I’m constantly being told I’m not trying hard enough or whatever. If I was violent, I’d probably punch them. But I cannot waste my strength on people who are a bit toss can I? No. I can’t. They just add to it. As do I. I’d go mental if I didn’t write, or go to the gym. It’s an outlet to frustrations out of my hands.

Trees And Flowers, as sad as some of the lyrics are, is a piece of hope. I’ll cling onto it, it’s all I can do.





Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows (video.)

25 09 2012

“Together but all alone.”

Have you got End Of Daze yet? You should. It’s the best EP you will hear all year. Okay, so after what seems like an eternity the video to Lord Knows is finally here.

Before I declare it as VIDEO OF THE YEAR (which it is) you must watch it with a clear mind. Maybe feeling a bit week and lost; because when the video has ended, you will feel complete again. This basically is what happens when you listen to Dum Dum Girls anyway. They give you everything you need, and much more in order for you to carry on. I know it is hard at times; I know more than I should. Lest we try to forget. Fight to forget it, and you end up wearing everyone else’s scars. What a bastard it is. But anyway, Lord Knows is like a call to change. To stop the hurt; to just be better. If this song was around a few years ago, I may not have been such a horrible person to a few. Maybe that all had to happen. I am without them, and I feel much better. Dum Dum Girls make it okay for you to have vulnerable and unsure feelings. The way Dee Dee writes is nothing short of great poetry. I’m talking the genius of Rimbaud. Mixed with the heart of Patti Smith and the soul of Lou Reed. She’s the Patti of my generation for sure. Don’t turn a blind eye, you’ll be missing out. You don’t want to miss out.

Lord Knows is dark and will ease you into self-discovery. If it doesn’t make you emotional then you are watching it wrong. The fragility of the video and song just hits you right in the gut. Christin Turner ( http://www.christinturner.com) has truly directed the best video of the year for sure. It is just 4 minutes and 19 seconds of pureness and honesty. The song and the video are nothing short of beautiful.

End the daze kids, end the daze xx





Dum Dum Girls-End Of Daze (EP.)

17 09 2012

“I get so frightened. No one else seems frightened, only me.”

I have typed this over and over, hoping I could start it and go into something that makes sense. It didn’t work, so I downed some Jameson whiskey and I feel human again. Before I really get into this, if you aren’t aware of my love/admiration/respect for Dum Dum Girls then you may not understand anything I am about to write. Thing is, I don’t understand half of what I write. Out of sheer love for Dee Dee, Sandy, Jules and Malia- I am going to do my best get this to make sense. I make no promises.

There are so many things right about this EP. I have one problem- it’s an EP, not a full record. I want more and more. That’s just me being a greedy fan. I’ve got past that though, I can fully see how much we need End Of Daze, as an EP- not a record.

My love for Dum Dum Girls started a few years ago. Catholicked was the song I heard. “These sins are my own.” I heard that line and knew immediately I had found a band that would just mean more to me than anything else. Songs such as Rest Of Our Lives to Coming Down mean more to me than I can put into words. I stand by that their cover of Oh Those Eyes by The Vagrants is the best cover ever. I’m meddling in the past here aren’t I. I should tell you about End Of Daze.

You’ve heard Lord Knows already, right? Waiting for the video? Me too, but it will be worth the wait. Anything DDG do has always proven to be worth the wait. When a band can grip your attention and leave you always wanting more- that’s when you know you have found a band that are going to be your lifeline. What I adore about End Of Daze, is that from the very start you know it is going to be one of the most pure and beautiful things you will hear all year. I said before I heard it that End Of Daze would be the best EP of the year. Now, I am rarely right- but I am right with this. I can just feel it.

I cannot help but listen to the EP with a massive smile on my face. I don’t want to be THAT person, but a couple of months ago I put on Twitter something like “Wouldn’t it be cool if Dum Dum Girls covered Just Like Honey.” Dee Dee asked me to email her..who has their VERY own cover of Just Like Honey? I DO. I could reel off my favourite things that have happened this year, and that would be my number 1, for sure. It is something that I cannot put into words. Honestly one of the best and beautiful things anyone has ever done..I’ll never understand why Dee Dee did it, but I’m forever grateful.

The EP opens with Mine Tonight. If you’re like me and you pay very close attention to lyrics, you will probably see yourself in the lyrics. This pretty much goes for every song on the EP. There’s hurt, pain, death, love and loss surrounding End Of Daze. Yet the last track on the EP, Season In Hell feels like Dee Dee is telling you everything bad that has gone on, all those ugly feelings you posses so well- let it go, let it all go. It is over. End Of Daze feels like a healing process and is vulnerable. It is truly perfect and a joy to listen to.

Trees And Flowers is a stunning cover. I’m talking, “stops you in your tracks” kind of stunning you know? The lyrics seem much more  frail and open when Dee Dee sings them. For those who feel like their mind is a prison, you may enjoy this one more than most. I get it, I truly do. We all find our own way out in the end. It is okay to be scared. I guess you’re never alone, even if you feel like you are.

Something I truly adore about Dee Dee is how honest she is with her lyrics. When your art is your life, you can’t afford to be someone else can you? Sure a good writer puts themselves in other people’s shoes. But to allow yourself to be so open and exposed- that takes guts, heart and strength. A trait that I fully support, and wish more did.

One of my favourite lines from the whole EP comes from Season In Hell, “A confession’s not a cure. There’s always darkness to endure, on a path to be redeemed.” You truly pick up life lessons from a Dum Dum Girls song, End Of Daze is full of them.

I could quite happily sit here and right a thousand more words as to why I think it is the most beautiful thing I have heard all year. However, you can stream it here, a week before it is released : http://stereogum.com/1154362/stream-dum-dum-girls-end-of-daze-ep-stereogum-premiere/album-stream/

It is dark, it is comforting, it is pure and it is accurate. It is everything you want from a band that you love and more. I knew my mind was going to be blown, I just didn’t expect it to be as wonderful as this. Dee Dee, Sandy, Malia, Jules- Thank you xx





Dum Dum Girls- Lord Knows.

1 08 2012

“I can’t hurt you anymore.”

Basically, Dee Dee could sing the phone book and I’d regard it as the best thing ever. I love her voice, I love her lyrics and I think she is just incredible (anyone who covers a song by The Jesus And Mary Chain song just for me is a beautiful human being in my eyes.)

What I love about Dum Dum Girls is that they make music that compares to nothing and no one else. You hear something all too often and you think, “Oh that sounds like…” With Dum Dum Girls, you don’t get that. Well, I don’t. I’m pretty sure their loyal fans feel the same way. I remember hearing Catholicked and being in awe. Then came Jail La La and I knew. I just knew I had found the band to sum up every feeling. Only In Dreams was pretty much my soundtrack to last year. Coming Down got me through everything from the days where I hated everything to my mum getting sick. The whole record just oozed out everything I felt, and more. I suppose most who find a record to do this, they never go back to it. I still play it everyday. Coming Down is my crutch. I think I’m heading that way with Lord Knows.

I heard Lord Knows the other day when Dee Dee did a solo set for KEXP, but my internet connection decided it didn’t want me to hear it properly, so I thought “Alright..September it is..I can wait.” NO. I’m not waiting.

Lord Knows is vulnerable and perfect. For those who feel like they are always hurting those they love; this is your anthem, your prayer. I constantly feel like I’m fucking up so this song is like a blessing right now. I honestly cannot write about Dum Dum Girls without getting really into it, without being 100% personal. I can think of 1 or 2 I want to play this to and say, “This is all of it. I’m sorry.” But they’d say I don’t need to say sorry. No point in apologising if you haven’t done anything wrong I guess.

Lord Knows, if I wasn’t about to head out to the gym after writing this, would make me cry my heart out. Maybe I’ll do that later, or maybe I’ll cling onto knowing someone can sum up all this and much better than I ever can. Maybe things come to you when you need it most, this song definitely does that.

The lyrics to Lord Knows are just perfect and so honest. Dee Dee writes like no other. She gets right to the heart of it, and makes you feel less alone. To posses such beauty in words is something I really admire about her. She deserves a lot more recognition as a songwriter.

Basically, Lord Knows is out of this world. End Of Daze is out 25th September, and it’s the best EP of the year. I’ve not heard it, but I just know. I know.

Dum Dum Girls; thank you. Just..thank you xx

You can listen to the song here : http://wearedumdumgirls.com/