Review: Duke of Uke and Rough Trade Easter Instores

This is a bit of jumble of bands, but hey ho. I was walking down to Rough Trade, the weather was lovely, I was happy. Happy until my earphones decided to destroy themselves. GRRR! I get through so many pairs, one ear will always stop working. Aptly, I was listening to Laura Gibson’s Funeral Song when the right ear cut out. I had to walk the rest of the way with no music, which was highly dissatisfying. 

I went to Duke of Uke first, it was pretty busy. I asked the guy at the counter when Dent would be on and he said ‘a while, about an hour yet’. This turned out to be grossly wrong, what he should have said was ‘about 5 hours’. Nevermind, there was plenty to do in between.

I didn’t fancy standing up much longer so I headed for the safe haven of Rough Trade’s comfy sofas. There was a new Stool Pigeon out. I flicked to the reviews and saw Mariam and a review of the Wildbirds show at The Social. Ah, that was a gooden. At 6 I headed back to Duke of Uke to see if anything was going on.

Moustache of Insanity were just about to start. Unfortunately, neither band member had a moustache I would describe as ‘insane’. Nonetheless, they were really poppy and fun and had cute light hearted songs about things like cheese and freckles. 

When they were done and I decided to see if I could catch any of Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards. I nipped back round the corner to Rough Trade and he was on stage. Bizarrely, there was an absolutely huge modesty gap. The modesty gap is that huge cap the audience will self impose between themselves and the band because they’re too shy to get closer. I weaved through the crowd and got to the front and did a few snaps and sat down. I really like Dan Michaelson, he has a brilliant deep voice and his band sound great together. They did a few songs then the lights went up.

I really wanted to catch Papercuts at 7.30 so I thought I’d just stay in Rough Trade for half an hour instead of getting stuck in the Duke of Uke. I claimed the throne like chair which I have never sat in before. It’s very regal. I enjoyed Papercuts. Their songs are really quite poppy and will have your foot tapping.

Back to Duke of Uke, I caught the end of Allo, Darlin’. I watched for about 4 songs in the doorway. I was outside and could see fine but I was getting suffocated by all the smokers’ smoke, so I poked my head in the door to allow my lungs to not be destroyed. They seemed really fun, for one song they borrowed some lyrics from I Walk The Line. There was a homeless person by the window throwing down some hot dance moves. It was just a bit brilliant.

Next it was Hexicon. They were more fun, more indie pop. The shop was rammed for their set and I was in danger of a bass-face collision. By this stage it was quite late, I didn’t expect to still be down there. I was hungry and wanted some OJ, I considered going but thought I may as well stick it out. The next band, Lofty Heights, were really fantastic. I enjoyed their set most so far. From London via San Francisco, the singer, Greg Griffin, was joined by a pianist, cello and a second guitarist that had turned his guitar into a lap steel. For the last song Greg stood on a chair and played unplugged. It was lovely.

Finally! Time for some Dent May. He and Bobby boxed themselves into a corner to allow as many people into the shop as possible. It was the same as last time I saw him, pretty much. The pair of the bounce up and down whilst playing their infectious ukulele pop. Really, super fun. He almost forced a dance party again. The setlist was similar to the Betsey show, just a couple of songs fewer. It was definately worth the wait, and I would recommend catching him live.

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