Dope Body return to the Brudenell Social Club with their brand of noise-rock after three years away. Judging by their reception, the Baltimore three piece have definitely been missed.
Leeds staples Cowtown are a wonderfully joyful warm up , their signature Devo-inspired sound and seemingly boundless energy acting as a perfect combination to get us loosened up for what is to come. And what does come is really a bit special. An energy of a different kind fills the venue with Dope Body’s opener ‘Repo Man’. Andrew Laumann’s intense drawl of “I like the way it smells, I like the way that it tastes” signals the start of a night of sensory spectacle.
Laumann conducts the band through the set with shirtless contortions. Arms lifted, fingers curling, he writhes and flails across the room. His mesmeric movements are inflected with those of frontmen past, hints of Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger making their way in. Seemingly, this is a band not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. This sentiment extends to their musical aesthetic – firmly grounded in noise without shying away from such eclectic predecessors as math, grunge and funk, their approach is refreshingly unpretentious. Laumann declares at one point that “It hurts to rock this hard” – Dope Body clearly don’t take themselves too seriously.
This lack of pretence seems to permeate the crowd, with the intimate venue breaking out into frenzied dancing and uncontrollable grins. The choice to eschew the stage and join the audience on the floor for the duration of their set is an excellent move. The proximity and passion of the band allows for a truly immersive experience, one which stays with the Brudenell crowd long after the music is over.
photo: Gaspard Zoss photography