Concert review: Dum Dum Girls, Kings Arms

By Danielle Street

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'The foursome took to the streets of Auckland City to drink, karaoke, fight and vomit their brains out'. Photo / Jenna Todd
'The foursome took to the streets of Auckland City to drink, karaoke, fight and vomit their brains out'. Photo / Jenna Todd

It turns out that despite their stoically cool stage presence the Dum Dum Girls are in fact rabid rock'n'roll creatures of the night. After completing the most professional of sets, the foursome took to the streets of Auckland City to drink, karaoke, fight and vomit their brains out. From gathered accounts of the gig aftermath it is hard to pinpoint just where it all went perfectly pear-shaped, but the catalyst was possibly when departing bassist Bambi (whose performance at the Kings Arms was her last with the group, as she is supposedly off to write a television show) said something to a local girl about being a "defective glow worm".

Rewind a few hours and the Dum Dum Girls have taken the stage for the final gig of their tour. Dee Dee, front and centre, barely speaks to the audience throughout the show but she is a delight to watch. Complete with shiny hot pants and Beetlejuice stockings (both of which are now surely on a few shopping lists), the lithe frontwoman moves with absolute precision and grace. Flanked by bandmates Bambi and Jules, the trio with their matching fringes make for formidable viewing.

Drummer Sandy is tucked a little too far back, but she makes her presence well-known audibly. Overlaying the girls is a fine film of psychedelic graphics which add a dreamy quality that we have come to expect from the group's music videos.

They kick off the slot with fuzzy 2010 single He Gets Me High, and the equally aloof and black-clad crowd subtly swoons. There isn't much room for movement and it's humid as hell, so the audience seems content to drift on the waves of Dee Dee's Hynde-esque voice. The remainder of the succinct set is largely made up of the latest album Only in Dreams, with sprinklings of older material thrown in for good measure. Early track Bhang Bhang goes down a treat, but it it's the fresher material that gets a real response from the crowd.

Recent hit Bedroom Eyes comes to life in the packed room, proving depths that weren't quite captured on the record. It is a little disappointing they don't perform playful number Just a Creep, but they round out a tight set with a cool encore of The Smiths' There is a Light, following the announcement of Bambi's leaving. This is enough to encourage my pal - also a tall redhead like the departing bassist - that she can be the new Bambi, sans musical skills. And later in the evening, she introduces herself to the girls in an attempt to run away with the group. But come morning, my friend is still in Auckland and the Dum Dum Girls are apparently on a plane back to New York, leaving a few tales of a debauched evening and likely stealing a few hearts.

Who: Dum Dum Girls
Where: Kings Arms, Auckland
When: Friday 6 January

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