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Live Review: City and Colour and Sharks, HMV Forum, London - 14/6/2010

When City And Colour announced a one off UK show at the HMV Forum in London’s Kentish Town, it was clear that the night would be special, backed up by the fact that it sold out before you could say Alexisonfire, and after another date was added those tickets went within days. It’s no surprise that the UK has fallen in love with Dallas Green, and it’s not hard to see why, tonight’s show was far beyond what anyone had expected.

Sharks, a throwback punk band with a bag of rock & roll stage moves straight out of the manual seemed a very odd choice for tonight’s opener. They couldn’t be faulted on their energy and stage presence, but unsurprisingly the crowd seemed distant and not one person moved, swayed or even bopped a head. Supporting a folk act is a hard task, especially when you play rough, gritty punk which was never going to go down well with the audience in attendance.

When Dallas Green finally walked on stage he opened immediately with ‘Forgive Me’, accompanied by his best friends on guitar, bass, and drums. This made the songs twice as big, really helping to fill the venue. After a series of classics, that the crowd listened to intently, the band then left the stage. Leaving Dallas alone to play ‘Against The Grain’. This stripped down performance felt so much more poignant without the presence of the band and showcased his absolutely perfect vocals, which never wavered throughout the night.

They played two new tracks, the second of which brought one of the best moments of the night. The crowd, who were unable to sing-a-long, were left completely silent. Unlike throughout many tracks where they seemed a little over excited, especially when it came to clapping, which Dallas soon addressed. Commenting on the fact that he couldn’t understand why it was always the people that didn’t know how to clap, who tried to start it off. Needless to say the mindless clapping soon ceased. One thing that truly made this night special was how humble Dallas was, chatting to the crowd and creating an intimacy that you would think impossible in a 2000 capacity venue.

‘Waiting’, ‘Death Of Me’. ‘Body In A Box’, ‘The Girl’, ‘Sensible Heart’, ‘Hello, I’m In Delaware’ and ‘Sometimes (I Wish)’ all made it into a set that was sung back, word for word by large pockets of the crowd. ‘Bring Me Your Love’ brought an end to the show, but Dallas soon reappeared to give his thanks, going into an a-capella version of ‘Grinning In Your Face’, originally sung by Son House which was a marvellous display of vocals, even the crowd, having now learned to clap properly were able to help out.

‘Sleeping Sickness’ brought the show to its eventual end, after 1 hour and 30 minutes that left the crowd stunned, the power of his voice and just how much emotion and energy he put into every song was astounding. The band alone produced an amazing and memorable performance which delivered in every way possible. Dallas looked genuinely shocked at the reaction from the crowd and couldn’t stop thanking everyone for joining him on the two dates, and with new tracks as strong as what was heard tonight it shouldn’t be long until we get our hands on another full length release. Let’s just hope he comes back to these shores again sooner rather than later.

Connor O'Brien

Alter The Press!