TVD Live Shots:
The Dandy Warhols
and Swervedriver at
the O2 Brixton, 2/1

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a quarter of a century since the debut record from The Dandy Warhols. I missed this record the first time around and instead discovered them on their masterful major label debut The Dandy Warhols Come Down. This is one of my favorite records of all time and one that easily stands the test of time. Often referred to as “the best Brit rock band from the States,” on tour the Dandys are not jumping on the current bandwagon and playing their classic album in its entirety along with a greatest hits encore. Instead, they do a proper celebration by dropping their 10th studio album, appropriately titled Why You So Crazy.

“The weirdest thing about it being ‎our 25th anniversary is it doesn’t feel like 25 years. Feels like about six. Or five,” muses frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor. I couldn’t agree more—how in the fuck did this happen? Am I really that old? Now that I think about it, I’ve seen the Dandys eight or nine times over the years, and I do celebrate their entire catalog.

While the Dandys have certainly done things on their terms after leaving the world of major labels, they’ve gone in some bizarre directions and never really went back to capture their roots on any later material. Well, that all changes with Why You So Crazy. Yeah, of course, it’s a fucking weird record, but they’ve managed to take a bit of influence from the other nine records and sprinkled that magic across the 12 songs on this gem—songs like “Forever,” “Terraform,” and “Motor City Steel” pulling a bit more from the trio of greatness that is Dandy’s Come Down, 13 Tales, and Welcome to the Monkey House.

The live show is as brilliant as ever, and the deeper we got into the setlist, the more we were reminded how unique this band is. Courtney Taylor-Taylor seems to get a bit more mellow as the years go by, but his voice is as distinctive as ever. Zia McCabe continues to be a shining beacon of energy as she switches between keyboards and bass guitar while hitting the harmonies along the way. I could seriously watch this band play every night for an entire year if it were possible.

While they did manage to fit in a song or two from each of their records, they missed one of their most significant moments in “Horse Pills.” Then again, the setlist was stellar from start to finish, and I’m guessing that they will take to the road next year and play the record in its entirety to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It would be nice to see a deluxe version take shape as well with outtakes and bonus material from the band’s peak in popularity.

Swervedriver was sort of a late addition to the bill but not that surprising as they are label mates with the Dandys. The new Swervedriver album is titled Future Ruins and it just came out last week. The UK shoegazers extraordinaire set the stage nicely for the headliner and the new songs sounded spectacular. These guys just announced a US tour with fellow 90s alumni Failure and the dates can be found here.

SWERVEDRIVER

Congrats to the Dandy Warhols on a stellar 25-year journey. The celebration continues with North American dates that kicking off in May.

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