Soko @ Dingwalls 23rd July 2009

Lulu and the Lampshades

I arrived outside Dingwalls around 5pm. This gig had not sold out as I had a email in the afternoon saying tickets were still available. I remember there were two support acts one being Lulu and the Lampshades and the other I could not remember. Now doors opened at 7.30pm and that was the time the box office opened. Well the queue had grew. So at 7.30pm I went in and went to the front where I sat down until the first act came on.

First up on the night was Lulu and the Lampshades (L). I had heard of them but hadn’t heard the music. Well I was really impressed and I would definitely see them again. One member missing from the line up was Heloise who was in Uganda. Still she left a cassette tape that was played during the breaks between songs. Each song on the night I really liked I wanted to hear more. Taking Heloise’s place was a lampshade which had been dressed up. Well if I was to compare them to another band it would be Peggy Sue. Each song had a folk feel to it. The set was a 8 song set and the songs sung in order were RoseTint, Escaper, Feet To The Sky, Ooh A Ooh, Impasse, National Express, Elastic Limbs and closed with Something New. I would most definitely see them live again and I look forward to hearing more tracks by the band. Well the second band on the night was The Agitator (R). Once I had heard the name I knew who it was. I first heard Derek Meins when he was solo but now he formed a two piece band and is accompanied by Robert Dylan Thomas on drums. Well all I can say is this was a very strong performance. The energy just flowed from his set. Now I cant remember all the songs from the set but one was called Get Ready which extremely powerful.

At 9.45pm Soko took the stage for what was to be a phenomenal 24 song set. Soko mentions that she hadn’t played for a long time as she was dead for a while. Soko also mentions she was really happy to be back in London and she had a brand new ukulele. I Am No One’s Love is the first song on the night. It is a fairly short song lasting just under a minute. True Love Will Find You In The End is next. Soko has some banter before the song starts. There are some tuning issues and Soko says she took a break during the months she was dead but still cant tune a guitar. Well this is a quiet beautiful song. This song delivers a message that true love will find you in the end. All The Lies is the next song on the night. Soko can easily make people laugh and smile. Well Soko goes over to the keyboard to look at the lyrics for this song. Now this is a soft song and after it is another song about liars. Now Why Would You Lie has catching lyrics and I particularly like the melody from Soko’s guitar. A song about Paris is next. Now this a strong song and Soko sings about Paris as you can gather from the song title. One line in the song is Paris is not so romantic. Continuing on with the new songs I Will Never Fall In Love With Someone Who Makes Me Cry is next. Parts of this song are delivered strongly and parts are soft. So after cheers when it is over Soko starts the next song My Friend Gypsy and I. Before Soko tells the story about meeting someone called Gypsy who taught her how to play the guitar. Soko then moves onto the drums. Now this song is a gentle soft song which is played a slow place. The crowd joins in with the singing by singing the lyrics “Tell me a story, I’ll tell you mine, I hope you don’t mind if I cry”.  Towards the end that is when the past is taken up a notch and everyone starts clapping along to the beat. My Wet Dreams is next. Someone tells a joke during Soko’s tuning moment. Well Soko is on her ukulele. Well I had heard this song on the Myspace page a while back. Well the crowd joins is with clapping. As you can tell by the song sex is a prominent role in the song. People Are Mean, People Are Bad is another song which has audience participation. Soko is on the drums and she is joined by someone from the audience who hit’s the drums with her. Well this is a good song. I like the beat to the song and it is really strong and powerful. It’s Hard To Be Alone sees Soko go back to the guitar. This is a nice soft quiet song. I Cannot Be Bothered To Open My Eyes Again is next and Soko only wrote this song two week ago. She is on the ukulele and it is another quiet song. Soko does stop for a second then starts back. The only shame is there were people talking though out the song. Now I was right at the front. But you shouldn’t really talk it is rude. Up next is yet another new song called Happy Hippie Birthday. Well the audience joins with the chanting during this song. When the audience does this it is quite haunting. The song starts gentle and towards the end it gets more stronger. Well after claps its onto Ask And You Shall Receive. Soko moves to the keyboard and takes some singers potion. She starts playing the ukulele and before that she mentions about a couple who were making out during the performance. I think Soko was a little annoyed with all the talking as she says to the couple “You are not supposed to talk when I’m playing”. Soko had her lyric book opened for this song. Now this song has a fast pace to it and Soko delivers it strongly. The next new song is I’m Not In Hell. There is more audience participation and Soko has moved off the keyboard and is still playing her ukulele. Now I really like this song. Gillian had moved to the keyboard and both ukulele and keyboard gelled perfectly. Parts of this song are powerful. My Ex-Boyfriends is played on the guitar. This song is played on the guitar at a fast pace. Another song proceeds called It’s Not Going To Work. People shout out I’ll Kill Her as they want Soko to play that. Soko mentions that “do you read that because she hasn’t sung that song for 2 years, she doesn’t like it” . Someone shouts out we like it and Soko says “bummer”. Well It’s Not Going To Work starts off slow then gets faster. Moving onto old material I Wanna Look Like A Tiger is next. Soko moves over to the drums and has her tiger put on her head. People then come onto the stage to sing the song. The people who come onstage don’t even know the song so Soko tells the people to get off stage. Then says they can stay on and be tigers. Now out of all the old songs I really like this song. There is a beat to this song and Soko clearly likes singing this song. Now each one of Soko’s songs makes me smile and laugh. Toward the end Soko roars like a tiger. Following tradition I Think I Am Pregnant is next. This is another song that makes me smile because of the lyrics mainly. Soko is back on the keyboard. Soko laughs through the first couple of lines. Soko then stops about a couple of minutes into the song and says to Gillian what are my lyrics. Someone then shouts something to which Soko responds “that it was the end of that song as someone said something really stupid”. The girl then shouted out something again and Soko said “she’s the one that ruined it” and then threw water over her. Soko then moves over to the drums to play I Think I’m Having A Nervous Breakdown. Maybe it was true because of the way the crowd were with talking and with what just happened after I Think I’m Pregnant. Well I was annoyed and I think Soko was too. There were people who turned up to Dingwalls who came to see Soko and appreciate her music as she had been off the music scene for a while. There were even people from France who turned up just to see her London comeback. Well anyway back to the song. It is both strong and powerful Soko gives it her all when singing it. Now I really like the beat from this song. The next two songs were new ones. Liars Lie In Hell and Soko is on the ukulele. How Are You follows and yet again the audience joins in with singing the words “How are you”. This is a gentle song. Well Soko’s song Peanut Butter is next. Her songs are so funny and she can sing about anything and it will still make me smile. Before the song Soko says that people can leave if they want to. Well after Peanut Butter I left not that I wanted to it was because I had to because it was nearing 11.30pm.


I Am No One’s Love
True Love Will Find You In The End
All The Lies
Why Would You Lie?
I Will Never Fall In Love With Someone Who Makes Me Cry
My Friend Gypsy And I
My Wet Dreams
People Are Mean, People Are Bad
It’s Hard To Be Alone
I Cannot Be Bothered To Open My Eyes Again
Happy Hippie Birthday
Ask And You Shall Receive
I’m Not In Hell
My Ex-Boyfriends
It’s Not Going To Work
I Wanna Look Like A Tiger
I Think I’m Pregnant
I Think I’m Having A Nervous Breakdown
Liars Lie In Hell
How Are You
Peanut Butter
I Will Never Love You More

OVERALL: This was a good gig. Lulu and the Lampshades were fantastic. It was good hearing Derek’s new band after I hadn’t heard anything before. Then there was Soko her set was phenomenal and amazing. It featured a mix of new songs and old songs. It is nice to see that Soko has risen from the grave and I am guessing that now she is back more gigs will follow. The only disappointment on the night was the talking now people came to see Soko, people who appreciate her music, people who wanted to see her as she had not played for months. Although Dingwalls is a nice venue I think it was the wrong venue for Soko. Also I was disappointed to leave 2 songs before the end but I was pleased from what I heard. The new songs are brilliant.


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