The legendary U.S. DJ and music writer Rodney Bingenheimer considers most artists to be the nearest thing to actual angels here on earth. If he had had the good fortune to be at The Bodega in early April, he certainly wouldn’t be changing that thesis, and those lucky few that did attend would probably begin to be convinced too. Rose Elinor Dougall and her four-piece band swooped into Nottingham and added light to a brief visit that packed a memorable reminder of the deft touch this singer-songwriter has.
Dougall was on a mini tour promoting her new album, Stellular. If her debut in 2010, Without Why, could be seen as her Goodbye to Brighton as she turned twenty and left for the Metropolis, then Stellular is surely the A to Z of Survival for The Young Professional.
These songs evoke the drudgery of a hungover Monday morning right through to the ecstasy of a romantic and drink-fuelled Friday night. Between these two poles lies the modern dredd of The Black Dog, always waiting to take hold at moments of weakness and the aching desire for a love affair to tear her metaphorically “limb from limb”.
Most of the twelve songs on the new set were performed here with just one from the back catalogue, the beautifully morose Find Me Out, a tune that may give the band an opportunity to have a good thrash at its climax as it develops, but on the evening of the gig, it was kept to basic length, as were all the numbers really.
They did go to town during the instrumental portrait of insanity that makes up the break in the middle of Hell and Back; the sure sonic highlight of the evening.
As for Rose Dougall going forward? Greater success – to match that achieved in collaboration with Mark Ronson a few years ago – must surely be on the horizon, but you begin to sense artists need to be on the road a bit (a lot) more to carve some kind of notch into the business. I guess sometimes you have to push it into the punters’ faces a bit more to get the reaction you deserve.
But, what’s not to like? Absolutely nothing.
Rose Elinor Dougall played The Bodega on Friday 5 April 2017
The Bodega website