Live review: Dolomite Minor at the Old Blue Last in Hackney

Dolomite Minor

Dolomite Minor - Credit: Archant

Dolomite Minor are a two piece blues rock band hailing from Southampton and they certainly look the part.

Joe Grimshaw, lead guitarist and vocalist, stands in all black, save the white designs of a band t-shirt advertising fellow grungers The Wytches. Such camaraderie is a rare thing in the increasingly dog-eat-dog world of unsigned bands, but more importantly, it makes this feel like part of a scene.

With the likes of Drenge leading the way for new, riff-heavy rockers (and two pieces for that matter), there’s a slipstream in place and it’s one Dolomite Minor couldn’t fill more comfortably. They’re raw, rhythmical, polished beyond their age and naturally, a decibel hazard to the eardrums.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, Dolomite Minor draw more heavily on the blues and therefore seem more indebted to the tradition-abiding licks of Led Zeppelin than 90s alternative. If there’s one song that’s going to convince you, it’s Girl of Gold – an undoubted standout that combines a rolling, bouldering riff with a permanent sneer that characterises Grimshaw’s vocals.

While the front man looks born into the genre – all long, greased hair and Neil Young baby face – drummer Max Palmier matches each guitar screech pound for pound. With such a bare set-up, there’s nowhere to hide and the result is a stage performance more akin to a boxing match, with each member slogging it out, continually, improbably raising the momentum.

It’s not all about the noise however. There’s a thrill in the empty spaces, the pockets between sound which, in any two piece, can never be filled completely. Such tense pauses were something the White Stripes honed to perfection and it certainly brings a clear, streamlined energy to proceedings.

There is something timeless about Dolomite Minor, and perhaps that’s the only thing that’s stopping them when every record label is scrapping for that big, new sound. Yet they do have the similarly timeless assets of youth, time and place and there is a sense that many are coming round to their chat-free, down-to-business rock and roll.

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Perhaps it’s the tastes of a new generation reacting against the last big scene, where light indie skiffle spoke in poetry and boat shoes. Most probably though, it’s just the age old thrill of seeing a pub set end in blazing jet-engine feedback, where cymbals crash to the floor without a care in the world.


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