In full disclosure, I was able to see Dom play last Friday. One of my friends from Facebook decided to stream the DB3 set live, and as it so happened, I came across her post just in time! As I baked gingerbread at home in Southern California, I watched Dom and DB3 play live in the UK. I love technology.
At the time, I didn’t really think about reviewing his show. Admittedly, I was enjoying the rock and blues, as well as appreciating his OWN music for a change. I know this changes the narrative for a lot of Duran fans who insist otherwise, but Dom can play. DD’s music does not highlight his talent nearly enough and a lot of people make assumptions based purely on how he plays music that other people wrote. It is an impossible task at best, and as I always say – he does a fantastic job, but it is nothing like how he plays the music he is most comfortable performing. But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Go check DB3 out the next time they play and see for yourselves. I sure wish I could!
Much to my surprise, a Daily Duranie reader was in attendance that night who was willing to take up the challenge and write a review. A hearty thank you to Laura, whose review is below! -R
No sooner had Dom Brown tweeted a couple of weeks ago that he would be playing The Barley Mow, a lovely country pub in the quiet village of Tandridge in Surrey with his new Blues-Rock combo The DB3, we had our motorhome(RV) packed up and headed the 140 miles from our home in Bristol.
We had brought along our little Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Rio, and she was able to stay for the pre-gig food and drinks, although she had to retire to the motorhome during the sound check as it was VERY LOUD, as one of the waitresses had indeed warned us it would be.
The audience was made up mainly of Duranies, all of whom seemed to know each other and the affection between them was clear to see. It amused my husband, who has himself been to quite a few DD shows over the years, to overhear one lady mention that her own husband had been subjected to so much Duran Duran over the years that he could probably answer questions on the band on Mastermind (British TV quiz programme) himself. Like him, my husband is glad that I have other friends to “spread the love with” so he doesn’t have to go to all the DD concerts with me!
As we were eating our meal there were two chaps discussing the vagaries of the music business on the next table. They turned out to be Ian Thomas and Phil Spalding, respectively the drummer and bass player of The DB3, and Dom Brown greeted them like long-lost friends when he arrived – very appropriate as it turned out, as they had apparently not been in the same room together for 6 months-not that you would have known it from the tight, extremely enjoyable set they played.
The band played two sets of about 45 minutes and featured storming versions of songs by Cream, The James Gang, Jimi Hendrix, The Average White Band, and B.B.King amongst others, finishing with a couple of Rolling Stones’ classics. The audience clearly knew this would not be a night for Duran Duran songs and responded enthusiastically to the bluesy rock music served up by the band, demanding two encores at the end.
For Dom Brown the gig could hardly have been more of a contrast to the big, recent arena shows with Duran Duran – no roadies to unload the van and set up the equipment here! Dom put as much into this show in front of the thirty or forty of us there as he does in front of the thousands who fill some of the world’s largest arenas. The gig gave him a real opportunity to showcase his exceptional all-round guitar skills. In addition, Dom shared vocal duties with Phil Spalding and, despite their quip that the band had “two non-singers”, they both produced authentically bluesy vocal performances that fully complemented their playing.
Dom was in no rush to get away after the gig and happily chatted with the audience, posing for photographs and signing the CD’s which had been sold by his niece (obviously something of a family affair!) He came across as a thoroughly lovely chap—genuine, authentic and someone who really cared for the fans and who wanted them to have as great a night as he clearly had.
High praise should be given to Dom’s amazing band mates who gave him great support and who were clearly similarly enjoying themselves. Special mention to Phil Spalding who, despite clearly suffering from a heavy cold, gave it his all on vocal duties.
I hadn’t known what to expect from the show but I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a long while. It seemed that the rest of the audience did too and the band clearly had a ball.
Many thanks to The DB3 and to Nicky of the Barley Mow for letting us camp out in the car park !
Laura has been a Duranie since 1982 when she was in the second year of secondary school and her friend Claire introduced this amazing new band to her that she had discovered. She’s lost count of the number of times she has seen them in concert over the years, but she’s guessing it’s been about thirty, including those abroad. She’s been lucky enough to have various friends come with her too, giving her husband Alan a night off now and again. Although he too enjoys DD, just not night after night! Her favourite concerts were the small fan club gigs which the band played after Simon’s recovery. She never believed she’d see them in such small intimate venues and certainly not within walking distance of her home! In between tours she loves reading Daily Duranie (we didn’t even pay her to say that! – R) and travelling. She teaches French at a secondary school in Bristol in the UK.