Dropout Dan at The Windmill
Daniel O’Dell has been creating folk-punk music, similar to the likes of Frank Turner and City & Colour, since 2008. Under the name Dropout Dan, he follows the release of his debut EP Forever, Instead with an appearance alongside similar artists B-Sydes and Adam Boucher at The Windmill in Brixton.
The cosy bar is definitely too small for his music. Each song he shouts at the crowd forces them to listen to him, drawing them in willingly or not. O’Dell has been writing songs from a young age as a way to articulate his feelings and experiences, and his comes across in his performance. He gives each song his all, his facial expressions portraying the emotions of his tracks.
Unfortunately, these songs sound mainly the same, and even after listening to his YouTube page you can see this is the case off stage as well as on. There are a few surprisingly good songs, the enigmatic Oh, Little Red and the emotive Auburn. However, he sticks to the same formula throughout and it gets tiresome.
On the other hand, his energy on stage is transferred to the audience who seem to enjoy the show. He does have their attention and some do seem interested. If he experimented a bit more with his songs and allowed himself more variety perhaps he would stand out, but even in this small venue he is overshadowed by his peer Benjamin Sydes aka B-Sydes. Both are from Cambridgeshire and both are part of the new wave of folk-punk music, just Sydes seems to have a little bit more behind his songs.
Dropout Dan does know how to put on a good show, he just needs better material to back him up. Those leading the genre, City & Colour and Frank Turner, will easily leave him behind.
For further information about Dropout Dan and future events visit here.
Dropout Dan’s EP Forever, Instead is available here.
Watch the video for Oh, Little Red here: