Dillinger Four / Stay Clean Jolene - Live in London (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dillinger Four / Stay Clean Jolene

Live in London (2016)

live show

Making a pit stop on their way to Groezrock 2016, Dillinger Four rocked a sold out crowd at The Dome in London on April 28. Their one and only UK stop this trip, and their first time back in seven years.

Hailing from Dublin, opening act The Number Ones took the stage a little past 8pm as the audience was trickling in. Sporting more of an indie rock vibe, with compositions reminiscent of early 60’s rock’n’roll, The Number Ones played a quirky and fun set. With every member of the band at some point pulling duty on the microphone, the transitions between complimenting and dueling vocals between the front three was tight, impressive, and enjoyable.

Stay Clean Jolene, down from Manchester, took the stage next. Playing a more straightforward punk rock, this act had quite a following in the crowd. Introducing a new drummer playing his first gig with the band, SCJ belted out some excellent fast-paced, hard-nosed songs that the crowd ate up. Although the sound system of the venue is impressive, the supporting vocals were a bit too quiet, losing the effect of the backing vocals from the second guitarist and bassist. Obviously the band isn’t to blame for this, but I couldn’t help but think their set would’ve sounded better with some more care at the soundboard.

After what seemed an interminable wait, Dillinger Four took the stage and plastered the venue with a selection of mostly old and rare songs, sprinkled here and there with a few numbers from C I V I L W A R. Still chock full of energy as ever, Paddy, Erik, and Bill ranged along the stage. The set list seemed to be just about split evenly between songs fronted by Erik or Paddy, with the crowd going at the start of each song. Audiences singing along is common, especially on songs like "Gainesville," but to hear the audience so clearly above the band on every song is an awesome experience.

Of course, they also interspersed the music with their Minnesota-polite and cheeky banter, including comments on being supplied with the best of English beers by the venue (Kronenbourg 1664, a French Lager), this being the best Saturday ever (it was Thursday), or Paddy proclaiming ‘This is best song we ever wrote’ before launching into “doublewhiskeycokenoice” (infamously ripped off by Green Day). Probably the only disappointment of the evening was that Paddy kept his clothes on, despite teasing the crowd by taking off his bass and lifting his shirt, leading to some hearty pleading from the audience to ‘take it off!’

Dillinger Four gigs are rare occurrences and, because of this, they seem to cultivate a very dedicated fanbase. Many in the audience traveled from across the UK for the gig (including a set of five diehard Italians who flew in from that day Italy just for this show, and going back the next morning). Many claimed that they preferred the intimate setting of a sub-1000 capacity venue instead of a large festival like Groezrock. None were disappointed as D4 gave it their all and, once their set and encore was finished, many fans exited the venue with Cheshire grins on their faces.