SXSW Review: Rose Elinor Dougall, March 17, Galaxy Room

Panic Manual Rose Elinor Dougall

Austin – I will freely admit that I was pretty much in love with Rose Elinor Dougall the first time I saw her perform live with the Pipettes. Sure that trio had two other blonde bombshells on the roster but for me, Rose, with her pretty eyes and cute retro look was definitely the one that caught my eye. Luckily, she also had a sensational voice and anyone who listened to the Pipettes would admit that she had the most talent out of the trio. Much to my (and many, I’m sure) disappointment, The Pipettes pretty much dissassembled last year. They have two new members but it’s not the same..ask the Sugababes. After the demise of the band (or maybe even before), Rose Elinor Dougall decided to do the solo thing and went to Austin to showcase her own music. I was there to check it out.

When the schedule for SXSW came out, the 12 am time slot on Wednesday night was one of my bigger conflicts – Spoon was also playing at the same time, and it’s hard to resist watching that band in their own hometown. Luckily, this conflict (like many) was solved for me when I saw the lineup for Spoon, which was about three blocks long. Arriving at the Galaxy Room, it did not surprise me to see a pretty empty room awaiting Rose Elinor Dougall. The Pipettes were pretty much a novelty pop act(despite their pretty awesome album) and that is a tough sell for an elitist indie crowd such as SXSW, where high concept math rock would probably garner more attention then pure pop candy.

Shortly after midnight (and an overly long soundcheck), Rose and her band came out on stage. There was a drummer, a guitarist (with crazy rock hair) and arguably the hottest bassist ever. Rose herself was manning a leather jacket was slotted comfortably behind a keyboard. I guess the leather jacket is to represent rebelliousness and rock n roll or something. I remember when Justin Timberlake had that single after he left n’sync and was wearing a leather jacket, to symbolize the exact same thing. Basically, if you are leaving a pop act, buy a leather jacket.

“I’m glad their school let them come on this field trip!”
– Derek

The band was fairly young, but their set consisted of music with influences from 60s pop music and 80s new wave sound. I still don’t know how they get these influences as I’m sure they were born in the late 80s. I guess they had cool parents. All the music did feature one thing – Rose’s strong voice. It’s got a sweet, yet strong sound to it and it is highly featured in each tune. Like most Brit singers, she delivers each word with a certain amount of clarity and slight accent that makes it so good. The 30-40 minute set featured previous released singles Another Version of Pop Song and Start/Stop/Synchro, and also some music from what her debut solo album Without Why.

So I guess the question that begs to be answered is whether or not this was as good as the Pipettes debut, which was fantastic. I would say the answer is no, although we’ll have to wait for the album to come out to fully determine. What I will say is that while the Pipettes album was wonderful, it was what it was. This new solo work by Rose Elinor Dougall definitely explores more sonic regions then the Pipettes album and lays the groundwork for future growth, which is great news.

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Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, South By Southwest

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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