An Absolute Must See

The Dresden Dolls appear on stage to a frisson of fan excitement and launch into the exuberant and vitriolic 'Sex Changes', the opener from their new album 'Yes Virginia'. The band maintain a fine line between untouchable and astonishing performers, and one of the most caring bands out there who even manage to find the time to ask you to check out an impromptu support act before going on stage. The set is similarly made up to please fans, with the classic clockwork menace of 'Missed Me' following and the constant playful interaction with the audience a stable of the band's set. Although they have a fabulous album of new tracks, the Dolls don't have an inch of commercial desire about them, supplying the excited listeners with a trio of covers, beginning with the rapturous 'War Pigs' in which drummer Brian transcends into the realm of the most vicious and impressive rock drummers out there.

A rousing version of Jacques Brel's 'Ports of Amsterdam' follows with Amanda swilling foaming lager over the stage and Brian cheekily abandoning his drumkit for an acoustic guitar, which he continues to sport during a tentative cover of T. Rex's 'Cosmic Dancer'.

A thunderous keyboard and drum instrumental ebbs and flows dramatically as the introduction to 'Half Jack', which harnesses hypnotic melancholy perfectly, preceding the cheeky and flippant 'Girl Anachronism' which plays on the band's cabaret styling.

The encore of intimate, 'Me And The Minibar', and 'Backstabber' chosen by popular demand fulfils the delighted crowd and serves anyone who hasn't experienced the band live before with enough playful, passionate music to keep a thousand long nights alight. However, as someone who has caught the band's sets previously, I find myself a little saddened by the lack of - I never thought I'd say this- material from the band's new album, the band offer the perfect set of proven crowd pleasers, but perhaps to the detriment of some powerful tracks from the new album which deserved an outing. This is a petty criticism though, as The Dresden Dolls remain one band that you simply must see to believe and two of the most charismatic and engaging performers out there.