Dodie at the Roundhouse
Gaining fame through YouTube where she has amassed 1.7 million subscribers on her channel doddleoddle, Dodie is a teen sensation. Though the self-promotion of one’s own emotions can teeter into vain self-indulgence, it does not stop the artist’s adoring fanbase lavishing her with a continuous stream of gushing praise through Twitter. Several fans, it seems, are utterly in love with the singer and a mere handful of these subscribers, (namely GCSE students and a few cautious parents) are so dedicated that they have stood in a lengthy queue which extends down Chalk Farm Road to Camden Market a good hour before the show opens.
The beauty of this from a music perspective is that the supporting artists have a great opportunity to showcase their talents. Dublin singer-songwriter Orla Gartland deftly switches instruments throughout the show. It’s her solo electric performance of Inveitable, though, which impresses the youthful flock most. All is forgotten, however, with the arrival of London-based four-piece KAWALA. They have already garnered the support of Dodie followers throughout the tour and tonight they win over the legion with some niche dance moves and catchy tunes in the form of pop-dance beauties Do It Like You Do and Funky.
The anticipation has been building since KAWALA placed one foot off of the stage and as the lights dim to signal Dodie’s entrance, a euphoric roar sounds from the gathered teen throng and they are hooked from sedate opener (a strange choice) Arms Unfolding to fan-favourite (one of many) encore closer In the Middle.
The objective listener understandably checks their watch once they have clocked onto the formula for her setlist: subdued, mellow songs followed by more upbeat numbers before returning to another ballad. But her stark, heart-on-sleeve lyrics captivate her die-hard followers to such an extent that you realise the event is not for the casual attendee, but a heartfelt and grateful thank you to her devoted fanbase.
There is something sweetly sincere about the singer’s positive messages about mental health issues and inclusivity – staunchly shown support by the LGBT+ fans’ pleasure at hearing Rainbow – and one hopes this will not be the highlight of a career at the hands of young supporters whose tastes could easily expand and diverge as they enter adulthood.
It might well be, as her voice lacks that powerhouse quality which could turn casual listeners. But, for now, Dodie offers a sweet, sincere show on a pleasant Sunday evening.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Dodie’s website here.
Watch the video for Human here: