Review: Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin ‘comes out of his comfort zone’ at Norwich Waterfront

Jimi Goodwin

Jimi Goodwin - Credit: Archant

A review of Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin's solo gig at Norwich's Waterfront, with support from The Tea Street Band

Support act The Tea Street Band shuffle on to the stage looking rather awkward and more than a little out of place.

With heads bowed the first chord kicks in and it's not exactly what you were expecting from a blokey five-piece in their mid-30s.

It's fair to assume these Scousers have enjoyed a few raves in their time as they serve up 40-minutes of dance-infused indie rock, the type of which has helped Foals make a name for themselves over recent years.

It's fantastic stuff and within a few minutes the band look at ease, flexing their dancing muscles and clearly enjoying themselves - as are the audience.

As lead singer with Doves, Jimi Goodwin and co emerged from the ashes of Britpop to produce song after song of brilliant indie with more than a little bit of soul.

That band are currently in hiatus (not split up but not currently together) with all three members pursuing other musical ventures.

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Goodwin is in Norwich as part of a UK tour promoting his debut solo album Odludek (a Polish word, meaning loner, pilgrim, traveller or hermit in case you were wondering).

What is instantly clear from listening to the album and seeing him live is that Goodwin has decided to use the time to try his hand at a range of different musical styles.

Opener Terracotta Warrior has a real swagger and is heavier than anything he's released previously. Accompanied by a riff to make the ears bleed and ferocious drumming, it's a real statement of intent. Don't expect the same old, he's saying.

The 90-minute set takes us on a thrilling musical journey. There are some Doves-esque tracks (Didsbury Girl), but also indie dance (Live Like A River and the brilliant Ghost of the Empties), folk (Oh! Whiskey), Americana (Panic Tree) and more.

Throughout Goodwin keeps the crowd amused and entertained with the affable chatter Doves fans will be familiar with.

There are four Doves tracks on show as well tonight (Snowdon/Lost Souls/Last Broadcast/Sulphur Man) and to a big fan of the band as I am they do stand apart from the rest in terms of quality. But not by much.

At least Goodwin has been prepared to take a risk and come out of his comfort zone - and the results are very enjoyable indeed.

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