Skip to main content

20th February 2012

Live: Niki and the Dove @ Islington Mill

The BBC may love them but Hannah Mead certainly doesn’t.

Niki and the Dove
Islington Mill
8th February
1 star

It would be fair to say that I’m not quite sure what to make of Niki and the Dove. I’m also not sure whether that is a good thing or not, but my instinct tells me it is very bad indeed. On the one hand I think they are the most irritating, unmusical and unlikeable act on earth. However, there is a minute part of me that’s saying “C’mon dude, lighten up, maybe they ain’t so bad’. But on deeper analysis, I have realised that this was probably just down to the fact that nobody else in the packed out Islington Mill was openly objecting to a) the dreadful racket and b) what was going on on stage. Front woman, Malin Dahlström (no one in the band is even called Niki) was swaying and waving her arms around in a psychedelic manner that the cynic within just refused to accept.

I’ll admit that at times they sounded great – deep, moody bass filled the room, sending the crowd into a trance. But all too often it just reminded me of Jez and Superhans pissing around on keyboards but with a distinct lack of comedy. I can’t help but feel that if you’re going to piss around with electronic music, you at least need to be clever or funny about it.

When they arrived on stage, Dahlström’s voice was manipulated to sound like the Wicked Witch of the West. I think this was intended to be really profound and build up tension and atmosphere, but I was left wishing they would cut the theatrics and get on with it. The BBC may love them, but I don’t.

On a plus note, supporting act Patterns were excellent. Check them out if you can.

Niki and the Dove – DJ Ease My Mind

More Coverage

Jorja Smith – falling or flying: Answers and more questions on the star’s second outing

Jorja Smith returns with her second album – an honest update on the headspace on the 26-year-old international superstar

King Krule returns to Manchester on his UK tour: All you need to know

Archy Marshall, better known as the titanic King Krule, returns to Manchester Academy on the 7th October

Alive Festival: All you need to know

Alive Festival is back for its bigger, better-than-ever second edition – here’s all that you need to know

Hak Baker live in Manchester: Giving a geezer the mic

Hak Baker brought a combination of laughter, impromptu dance-floors, and rum to the O2 Ritz on his Worlds End FM tour