Dan Croll at Scala
With Dan Croll having only released his debut album Sweet Disarray two weeks ago, it was a little surprising to see the Scala packed out to the extent it was. Even more surprising was the fact that pretty much everyone there seemed to know every lyric of every harmonious, tropical-leaning, but sadly innocuous song.
We evidently weren’t the only people surprised at the number of people in attendance, and after an auspicious opening of the unfamiliar Hello My Baby, Dan noted his amazement at just how many people had paid to come and see him. His humility was expressed again only a song later, with his astonished and celebratory announcement that he had noticed his first ever ticket touts outside. Maybe it’s this, his apparently self-effacing nature, that explains why the balcony looks like a sophisticated, indie version of Paddy McGuinness’ Take Me Out. The crowd is almost entirely comprised of girls who, after last night’s show, are probably struggling with rearranging their wall to divide space more equally between Dan Croll and Vampire Weekend – an obvious, but not overtly imitated, influence of this rising indie-tronica star.
The sweet, but not sickly, romantic tone of Maway, with its repeated query of “maybe I should call you my girl?” offers further explanation for the wall-to-wall women, but also showcases Croll’s growing showmanship, honed over the course of recent tours supporting London Grammar and Bastille. After an impressive display of musicality on the guitar-driven Only Ghost, the highlight of the set arrives in Can You Hear Me?, which in the additional heaviness afforded to it when played live is gloriously jarring in a set that begins to merge into one afrobeat blur. The “tronica” in the indietronica tag Croll’s generally been labelled with might become a little lost beneath the guitar when he plays live, but it’s hardly a damning consequence for the superb show. And after an encore of well-deserved fan favourite From Nowhere and the melancholic Sweet Disarray, there’s not anyone in the audience who, noticeably anyway, care even a little.
Photos: Rob Brazier
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Watch the video for From Nowhere here: