TVD Live: Dum Dum Girls at the Black Cat, 10/22

Despite what their name might hint at, the Dum Dum Girls have an older, more sophisticated fan base than what the usual girl-rock raucous might bring out to the Black Cat on a Saturday night.

Definitely a “date night” kind of show, maudlin couples in their thirties and forties crowded around the stage arm in arm, waiting as the stage crew tuned instruments and set out highball glasses of Jameson for each of the ladies. Once on-stage, armed with a stage name of Dee Dee, Kristen Gundred leads the foursome in both the playing of new wave/indie rock and in dressing in tight black outfits with boots and red lipstick.

They opened with “Always Looking,” the opening track from the band’s newest album, Only In Dreams. Dum Dum Girls play short, guitar-heavy songs that clearly highlight the similarities between them and their influences like Siouxsie Sioux, Madonna, and members of Hole like Courtney Love and Melissa Auf Der Maur; Dee Dee’s voice reflects the girlish wimper with a forceful attitude pushing through to back it up like many of these women.

Yet even with attitude in music and dress, the Dum Dum Girls still lacked the charisma I was hoping to see from them in a live performance. The only bands I have ever seen utter a tiny “thank you” at the end of each song with no song description or anecdotal story telling while guitar tuning were bands that either a) didn’t speak English or b) play instrumental noise music and prefer not to speak so as to not disrupt the “wall of sound.” Considering the Dum Dum Girls are neither of these but in fact hot girls in black leather hot pants, I expected a tad more enthusiasm; the fact that they only played one song for their encore added to this disappointment.

But overall the Dum Dum Girls have clearly achieved the look and sound they are trying for, and their new album, just released last month, includes gems like “Bedroom Eyes” and “In My Head” that well capture the Dum Dum personality and will certainly please any fan of the group, young or old.

Photos: Amy Breesman

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  • Chris

    Having seen them 3 times, I have to say that they keep getting better.  After their show in the spring, though, somebody asked me how I liked the show, and one thing that we both realized is that they do not smile.  We each thought we had seen Dee Dee smile at another band member briefly.  Saturday, Dee Dee and the other guitarist smiled briefly.  Yeh, more rapport with the audience would be nice, and I’d like to think that they’re having fun.  Musically, they’ve got it, and I’d go see them tomorrow if they were playing around here.   But if the question for the band is “was that as much fun for you as it was for me?”, I don’t know what the answer would be. 

    Also, they should have staff at the merch table, and they should have their most recent cd in stock.   What are they thinking?

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