wears the trousers magazine

dawn landes: live at monto water rats 24/08/09
August 27, 2009, 2:50 pm
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,


Dawn Landes
Monto Water Rats, London ••••
August 24, 2009

Heading into the Water Rats Theatre, it seemed that some sort of advance memo had been sent round to every ticket holder but me, detailing a dress code of checked shirts for the occasion. In fact Dawn herself, in her usual polite manner, had participated with this, in keeping with the Western themes of her upcoming album Sweet Heart Rodeo. It was a nice added touch to the evening, her first gig in the UK for over a year and a rare headline show. And with a set that was fantastic from start to finish, the only disappointment happened to be the current short length of her percussionist Ray Rizzo’s beard, as I’d very much been looking forward to showing my friend this inspirational facial hair. 

Landes may be petite in stature but she has a powerful stage presence, instantly able to charm the audience with her bouncy personality. She opted to play mainly songs from Sweet Heart Rodeo, on which the countrier elements of her previous material have been developed further. It all sounded very strong and a good indication for the soon to be released CD. ‘Wandering Eye’ emerged as an early favourite, holding its own among some classics from last year’s critically acclaimed Fireproof, including ‘Bodyguard’, ‘Twilight’ and ‘Picture Show’.

For live performances, Landes increases the muscle and tempo of her songs, giving them a far rockier vibe. Here, she was expertly backed up by Ray (Inspector Gadget as she called him) and Josh Kaufman, and her songs beautifully engineered to sound crisp and fresh. Overall, it was a heartening performance from an artist with huge enthusiasm and passion for her music, and a shame she had to rush off for a radio session as the audience were left wanting more.

Rebecca Greenwood
photo by Guy Morris; Sweet Heart Rodeo is released on September 7th through Cooking Vinyl; www.myspace.com/dawnlandes


Sweet Heart Rodeo trailer


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