Live Review: NewDad – The Lexington, Islington 17.11.2021 plus gallery

After falling into an old smuggler’s cave with only an old CD player and the 4AD label back catalogue for company, NewDad experienced a transformative adolescence. Probably. Several years later they were rescued by the Pixies – of the Frank Black variety – not the little people, there’ll be no lazy stereotyping here. Ahem. 

Blinking in the post-lockdown gloom, kohl eyed Julie Dawson emerged with her band last year to bring a deliciously nostalgic take on dream pop reminiscent of those late 80s greats. A college rock education now bringing a degree of success as they celebrate the release of their latest single Ladybird in North London.

Tonight a distinct brogue dominates and dances on the chilly Islington air as these Galway heroes are greeted by a passionate crowd of fellow Irish souls. Bassist Aindle O’Beirn brooding cool threads through many of the songs perfectly juxtaposing Julie’s bittersweet vocal. Be careful though, these are trojan tunes. The penetrating bass often seeks to break you whilst Julie will make you feel as cosy as a hoodie on a winter night. Indeed on 2020 breakthrough single I Don’t Recognise You close your eyes and it could be Arlo Parks doing an open mic night at a grunge bar. The fallen angel of Islington delivers a light, almost whispered vocal to the atmospheric downbeat jangle of Blue before closing the show with the sweet yet resigned insecurities of Ladybird. She’s no pushover though and several times during the set Julie punches the air to whip up the applause like a focussed high jump athlete. There’s no leap of faith required though, on this performance NewDad are definitely on the rise.

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