Dancing Years, Brudenell Social Club

Posted by vibrations on 21-02-16

“We’re always nervous when we play as to whether anyone is actually going to turn up”, announces David Henshaw – a somewhat unfounded concern given that the Brudenell is packed to the rafters tonight for beloved local troop, Dancing Years. This is the first home gig the band have played in months and as a preview of their new EP Learn to Kiss, there’s evident anticipation.

The title track is the big opener for the evening, and now as a five piece band comprising of David Henshaw (vox / guitar), Joe Lawrenson (keys), Dan Fielding (guitar), Dominic Butler (violin), and Joe Montague (drums), there is a discernible progression towards an epic, larger sound beyond the humble days of Joseph and David.  

All tracks from the new EP have an airing; Valentine is a beautiful lament on a relationship starved of intimacy; April, which Henshaw jokingly introduces as “another chirpy number for you,” and a flicker of recognition bounces around the audience on the utterance of lyrics “holding hands down Belle Vue Avenue”, given that we are gathered just around the corner.

Aside from a showcase of the new EP, we’re treated to a track that’s even newer and as yet unrecorded, Summer Nights. Henshaw brings his characteristic emotion to each song, reminiscent of the vulnerability seen in the newly-released Learn to Kiss video, and a true hallmark of the Dancing Years bare-all approach to their music. A glorious highlight of the evening is when crowd-pleaser Here’s to my old friends makes an appearance, dedicated wistfully to everybody’s old school friends, and met with a spirited welcome.

The one and only encore song is Neon Lights, the next single to be taken from Learn to Kiss.  It’s an emotionally reflective song on the theme of dealing with seasonal change and the impact upon the psyche, aptly wrapping up an otherwise gloomy February evening… 

Katharine Hartley

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