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Doves’ Tale: Band Makes Defiant, Joyful Noise

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Doves’ singer and bassist Jimi Goodwin gazed at the cheering, capacity Mayan Theatre crowd on Thursday and reveled in what he called the “nice, warm reception” the British group was getting. His palpable bliss might have surprised anyone assuming that a band whose albums are titled “The Last Broadcast” and “Lost Souls” would comprise sad cases obsessed with the end of the world.

The undulating, psychedelic buzz-drone at the music’s core could have furthered that impression. But in fact Goodwin, guitarist Jez Williams and his twin brother, drummer Andy, proved to be no downer, as their 80-minute set’s mood ranged from reassuring to defiant to just plain joyful.

“Broadcast,” the Manchester trio’s atmospheric second album, recently hit No. 1 in the U.K. and has garnered rave reviews. If Thursday was any indication, the band’s U.S. fan base is attentive and growing, as listeners enthusiastically received the new single “There Goes the Fear” as well as older tunes such as “Catch the Sun” and “Sea Song.”

The group included a keyboardist for extra texture, as it did during its L.A. concert debut last year, which reflected allegiances to the Smiths and New Order along with roots in early ‘90s Manchester acid-house pop.

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Those influences were present Thursday in such numbers as the who-cares-what-they-think “Words,” but the cosmic sweep of such songs as “Friday’s Dust” (not to mention the trippy light show and film clips) veered closer to Pink Floyd or, inevitably, Radiohead.

Goodwin frequently switched to acoustic rhythm guitar, while the players also traded vocals and occasionally swapped instruments. Rather than seeming affected, these moves kept things sonically interesting and created a sense of camaraderie that underscored the positive vibes.


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