Dolly TV are splendid. They look and sound a bit like Placebo and a bit like King Adora, but with far, far, far more poise, attitude and outright class than we have any right to expect from either band, or indeed any band ever. They wear pristine white leatherette suits, they have names like Jay-TV and Nick Le Citrus, and their guitarist (Nikki Trash) takes androgyny to new and faintly disturbing extremes. They play seven songs in 20 minutes. They scream, they yelp, they sneer, they jump around, they stand very, very, VERY still (whilst pouting), and they do not at any point look or sound like brickies.
Two of them are linked in the venerable Sheffield Rock Family Tree to the tremendous (and dead) Venini. It figures: here is another band that spectacularly defies the ungroovy smalltime indie-band orthodoxy that tells us exactly how we’re not allowed to behave whilst on stage with instruments.In one sense, they’re completely ridiculous, but the sheer flagrancy with which they do it means that in its own mad way, it’s completely perfect.Ignoring them is not an option. Stand there in horrified, open-mouthed disbelief if you must (that’s your problem), but you cannot go to the bar while Dolly TV are playing.
“Is there anyone here who likes us a little bit?” queries the singer at one point. Affirmative cheering from the crowd. “And is there anyone here who really hates us?” Further affirmative cheering. Hopefully both camps will grow beyond the confines of the little club in the National Centre forPopular Music where we saw them tonight. There is no shortage of people out there who deserve to be thoroughly annoyed by DTV. And a whole load more of us who just deserve them.