A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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Review: Dean & Britta @ XOYO, London

This was my first trip to XOYO. Another basement venue in London. The show was for over 18s only so I managed to sneak in for the soundcheck so that (almost 14 year old) Adam could get a look at and listen to one of the bands that fill up my life. Unfortunately the soundcheck wasn’t happening… a missing kick-drum pedal and a blown fuse meant that most of what was happening was nothing. We went for a pizza and returned an hour later just when the had band decided to soundcheck without a kick-drum pedal… half-way through a pedal was found and it all came to a halt again. The soundcheck, when it happened for real, was hurried and comprised of half-songs - but still enough to thrill the boy (and me obviously).

I walked Hazel and Adam to the station and then headed back to the venue for the gig. Support act were a Scottish hippy-folk band called Haight Ashbury (well how could they not use the word “hippy” to describe them) - they comprised two female singers, the dark one playing a drum and a tamborine (and wearing fantastic glasses), the blonde one playing a bass and both of them singing… at the same time. In the middle was a guy who mostly played a guitar but also some peculiar stringed instrument that looked like a cigar box with a stick nailed to it. They made nice sounds…

Dean & Britta for this tour are back to playing as a four piece with Anthony LaMarca on drums and Miguel Matalin on guitar, and while I loved seeing the three piece in Brighton it sounded better as a four piece. This was my third “plays Galaxie 500” show and the band were comfortable with how it all worked (despite this being their first performance with this line-up) - things were all going swimmingly until the technical gremplins conspired to bring the show to a halt once more while Dean frantically plugged and unplugged pedals trying to get things back on track… eventually things kicked off again and it all ramped up beautifully. Setlist as expected, gem-packed and impeccably delivered.

Dean announced that their show at Truck Festival in July would be the last time they’d play the “plays Galaxie 500” shows in the UK - “maybe we’ll do it again in 20 years” - while I’ve loved the nostalgia-wallowing and have enjoyed every minute of all three shows I have to agree that I think it’s time to move on. My intention is to go to Truck for one last fling.