The Dodgems

Richard Braddock 31/10/2007

Life as a support band must be a tough one. You travel all around the country, constantly in the shadow of another band, all in the vain hope of making an impression on anybody not queuing up at the bar. Still, these things are a necessary evil if you harbour intentions of hitting it big one day.

The Dodgems are a four-piece indie/rock band from Sheffield hoping to do just that. Heard that before? I'm not surprised. The influx of exactly this type of 'indie-by-numbers' band appears to be exactly the type of fuel that the NME hype machine runs on. That's not to say they're all bad. Indeed, after a song or two it's apparent that The Dodgems are a technically capable band, albeit completely lacking in any kind of originality or cutting-edge.

Phil Goodwin does his level best to project the band to an apathetic audience, but strutting around like a pre-pubescent Johnny Borrell will do little to endear him to crowds who have seen acts like this time and again. When bands like Milburn, who, in my opinion are one of the best examples of classic northern indie-pop are struggling not to drown in a sea of mediocrity, then that really doesn't bode well for The Dodgems.

That said, no track stands out as being particularly offensive on the ears. In fact, the piano hook in new single “Candlewax” is surprisingly catchy albeit not nearly enough to make this the song that makes an impact. Incidentally, “Candlewax” is The Dodgems second single, the first for two years, which should tell you something about the band's progression.

And then, as quickly as it began, their 25 minute shot at fame is over, only to be replaced by The Dead 60s, who, ironically, have been flirting with success for the best part of 5 years. Dodgems, take note.