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Dodgy - Stand Upright in a Cool Place

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 29 / 1 / 2012

Dodgy - Stand Upright in a Cool Place
Label: Strike Back Records
Format: CD


Uncomplicated, but somewhat bland comeback album from 1990's Britpop chart act, Dodgy

Back in 1994, or maybe it was 1995, I heard a song on the MTV Show 'Alternative Nation' that absolutely blew my mind. I thought it was the best song I had heard in ages and, eager not to forget what it was called, I scribbled down the name of the group and the song on my desk with a pencil. For the next few months (or maybe year), I kept looking for this single, but I found nothing. Maybe I should point out that this was a few years before I got in touch with the internet, so I had to find the record in the old fashioned way. Suddenly, when asking for the record for the umpteenth time at my local record store, they said that they could get a hold of the full length album for me. Needless to say, I told them to get it for me as fast as they could, and a week later I sat on the bus home with a copy of 'The Dodgy Album' in my bag. Of course I began by listening to the song I heard on the TV, 'Water Under the Bridge', but I came to love the entire album, from start to finish. The songs were great, and I really loved their three-part harmonies and Mathew Priest’s more or less furious drumming. The next album, 'Homegrown', was just as great, and on a trip to the UK in 1996 I bought all the 7” singles and CD EPs I could get my hands on. Then something happened. 'Free Peace Sweet', their third album, never really got to me in the same way as the first two albums. I had suspected that the trio was moving in a new musical direction when listening to the B-sides to the singles from 'Homegrown'', as those new songs were much more “groovy” and dub-based. And yes, my suspicions were right. Sure, there were some great songs on 'Free Peace Sweet' too, but as whole, it was a disappointment. So, when the band decided to split up a few years later, I didn’t really mind. Apparently, the band continued with singer and bass player Nigel Clark, and released 'Real Estate' in 2001, an album that I had never even heard of (and I guess there is a good reason for that…). Now, fifteen years later, they are all back together again, after being reunited at a funeral four years ago. There has been, to quote the band, a lot of “water under the bridge” since we last saw these guys together, and luckily, they have matured musically as well. The horrible dub influences are gone, and this is probably their most straight-forward effort to date. The harmonies are still there, and all in all this should be a very good comeback album. But, and there is a “but” here, the songs are… well… how should I put it… a bit bland. They don’t really stick. And I sure miss those good old up-tempo pop songs they used to make. There is no 'Staying Out for the 'Summer' here. And no 'Making the Most Of' Just eleven mid-tempo pop songs. And I guess that will have to do for now. It’s nice to have Dodgy back, after all.

Track Listing:-
1 Tripped and Fell
2 What Became of You
3 We Try
4 Shadows
5 Did it Have to Be this Way
6 Waiting for the Sun
7 Raggedstone Hill
8 Only a Heartbeat
9 Find a Place
10 Back of You
11 Happy Ending

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Interview (2002)
Dodgy - Interview
Always happy sounding, Dodgy were one of the bestselling and most popular actts of the mid 90's. Drummer Matthew Pirest and guitarist Andy Miller talk to Olga Sladeckova about the group's rise to fame and history

live reviews

Under the Bridge, London, 31/10/2014
Dodgy - Under the Bridge, London, 31/10/2014
Ben Howarth watches reformed 90's pop outfit Dodgy play a exuberant Halloween show in the unusual location of Under the Bridge in London
Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock, 16/5/2013



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