Doves: O2 Academy Sheffield

Doves hit the Academy tonight; some four years since they last played Sheffield, with their epic sound intact and now seemingly destined for the popular attention that has so far eluded them.

There was no shortage of dedicated fans here tonight, all excited at the prospect of their return, and they were not disappointed. For me it was the first time I’d seen them, and I felt like I was in at the start of what should become a landslide before too long.

They mixed new and old tracks, giving anyone who hasn’t yet heard their latest album good reason to go get a copy asap. It’s now becoming something of a tradition it seems. Unassuming band from Manchester way finally breaking through with their pure bloody minded perseverance and good solid song writing. Sound familiar? Perhaps they too are now only a Mercury nomination away from nationwide acclaim, and like Elbow, it will not be before time.

What they lack in stage presence, and it has to be said the ‘between song banter’ is not their strong point; they more than make up for with the epic, euphoric sweep of their songs. They played older songs, such as Words and There Goes The Fear to the newer tracks Jetstream and Kingdom of Rust; each one capable of propelling them into the spotlight and gaining them mass-acceptance. Britain really has got talent, and its here in front of us. Forget that fat bloke and his overweight son making arses of themselves dancing on TV. This is real, and, if there’s any justice, will be heard by the public more and more as the year rolls on.