Last night a man at an ATM opposite Shepherd's Bush Green (the Uxbridge Road side) gave a beggar money. But before this he forcefully told the man begging about his own experience of homelessness. He claimed to have spent time sleeping rough in Westminster. There are a few Londoners who would prefer to sleep rough in Westminster than spend any time in Shepherd's Bush, but I digress. The thrust of the change-giver's argument was that he had managed to beat the streets (in a manner of speaking) and become a chef, so there was no excuse. He even said, "I don't want to see you here still begging next time I come by."
Down Uxbridge Road at Bush Hall, US West Coast trio The Dodos were very much getting things done with little need for encouragement.
Frontman Meric Long, drumming mentalist Logan Kroeber, and vibraphone basher Keaton Snyder mate have the most unlikely names in San Francisco indie but they do make a fierce, clattering, baroque row deserving of far more fans than attended last night's show. They sold out the refined venue and cut interesting figures against a red velvet curtain background, beneath chandeliers. During 'Jodi', from 2008's Visiter album, Kroeger decided Snyder's brutal but captivating drumming could do with bolstering. He then smashed some cymbals with the kind of impressive brutality one would usually reserve for reality TV stars, people who queue at bars in single file and people who say or write any variation of the phrase, "That is/is not a good look."
2008 single 'Red And Purple' also went down like crack-laced sticky buns while 'Two Medicines' from excellent and imminent third album Time To Die (out 14 September) had a defiant, pummeling tone; psychedelic, but not in an obvious lets-just-play-the-guitar-a-bit-weird-aren't-we-kerazzzzy way. In fact, those who appreciate The Shins and Fleet Foxes may appreciate the influence of Phil Ek. Ek produced both those highly-waited bands and got his hands dirty on Time To Die.
The Dodos, just 'Dodo' when the band was Long on his Jack Jones, can be a bit wet on record but have no fear live. Fans of the excellent School Of Seven Bells, would be advised to get on the case quicker than they can change their names to something ridiculous by deed poll.