Live Music + Gig Reviews

Dot Allison @ Cargo

15 August 2002

Pint-sized Scottish singer Dot Allison is only just beginning to get recognition as an artist in her own right, despite having just put out album number two. Still referred to as “the former One Dove vocalist”, Allison is probably more famed for her previous band and her current Death in Vegas associations than her own material. Her slot at XFM’s Remix night, which also boasted a DJ set from her beau Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas, should have been the prime opportunity to showcase her solo work, both old and new. Instead she failed to convince.

Taking the stage an hour later than billed was not a good start, especially in the stifling heat. However Allison’s eventual physical presence soon brought the temperature down a few degrees. With her sleek blonde haircut and elfin features, the singer looked effortlessly cool as she glided into the opening track. However, along with her deadpan backing band, their brand of coolness skated dangerously close to indifference.

The almost clinical electro beats of We’re Only Science complimented Cargo’s industrial interior nicely, but this was one of the few moments in which the audience was truly engaged. Most of the mid to late twenty something, stylish crowd were regarding the performance than little more than amiable background music in anticipation of the DJ sets later on. The songs which most failed to live up to expectation were those which placed demands on Allison’s vocal abilities. Strung Out, the current single and stand-out track of We’re Only Science, was a huge disappointment live. Her singing was all over the place, losing the Blondie-esque effect of the record.

Nonetheless there’s more to Dot Allison than being an easy-on-the eye vocalist and anyone who checks out the credits on her albums can see that she is a true all rounder. The show did demonstrate her range as a songwriter and musician but as a live performer she lacked conviction. She played like a support act and was thus regarded so by most of the crowd.

Watching Dot Allison and her band perform is a little like being on the fringe of the most popular crowd at school-you really want to like them but find yourself asking why. By the end of the set nobody really cared about being in her gang because the party was just beginning and the Thursday night crowd were set to party like it was Saturday night.

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