Friday, 21 October 2011

herman dune @ king tuts, 16th october

In recent months, Jon Hamm, a blue yeti, and a Spanish lager endorsement have proffered two versions of the perfect Herman Dune show. The Hamm-and-furball-starring promo for Tell me Something I Don’t Know culminates in an enchanted grotto-full of fans bopping to the French-Swiss act’s latest finger-clicker; meanwhile, the Estrella campaign sees the band’s core duo serenading on golden sands. Herman Dune, these clips emphatically suggest, will make your life better.

Though it takes place in a less inspiring locale, from tonight’s show we draw much the same conclusion. David-Ivar recalls Jonathan Richman in both lyrical style and behaviour: whether leading sing-alongs or posing for photographs, his charisma and warmth supports the set whenever it threatens to sag. Musically, minor facelifts (particularly a noisy coda to When the Water Gets Cold…) revitalise older material, but, as an unplugged banjolele Not On Top proves, stripping things down is an equally effective invigorator.

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