The last time Old Dominion were in the UK, TEAMw21 were the first people to interview them in quite possibly one our funniest interviews to date. They were good company and were at C2C 2016 to plug their then new album "Meat and Candy" and to dip their toes into the UK market. They then went on to amaze and inspire and the general word around the festival was when are they coming back? In a bizarre week of topsy turvy concert planning, next week sees Brothers Osborne supporting Cadillac Three, while tonight Old Dominion are supporting Thomas Rhett when both could easily headline in their own right. Anecdotal evidence and the mood among the queue tonight seems to suggest that nearly 90% of them are primarily here for the support band!.
Speaking of the queue, as I was walking along Camden High Street towards The Roundhouse, 15 minutes before doors were due to open, about 1/2 a mile from the venue, there was a busy queue, and I wondered what else was occurring in town tonight. It was only a minute or so later that I realised that this snaking line of people was actually the queue to get in, such was the demand of people anxious to get into the venue. I eventually got in with about ten minutes to spare but a large number of people would have only seen part of the Old Dominion set, as when they took to the stage about ten minutes later than planned the venue was just over half full. We all appreciate that we live in difficult times but if venues are going to enforce rigorous searches then they need to provide sufficient numbers to ensure that the audience actually gets to see the event they have paid for. The queue did provide its own entertainment though from the rather niche Cuban cigar seller, to the random drunk berating cars for being foreign before settling outside Sainsburys with a bottle of cider!
So was it worth the wait? Hell yes - from the opening bars of "Snapback" they had the audience in the palm of their hands with some call and response sections to warm everyone up, and it was only after "Crazy Beautiful Sexy" that lead singer Matt announced "We're back" . All dressed in black although Matt was soon to take his big leather jacket off as he prowled the stage standing on the monitors. This was to be a race through as much of both albums as possible within the criminally short time available, "Written In The Sand" was followed by the clapping intro into the lead single from "Happy Endings", "There's No Such Thing as A Broken Heart". Such was the crowd participation that there was a post song reprise of the chorus with Matt announcing "Let's sing it again!". It was on to "Hotel Key" before the was a long teasing rambling intro that was to eventually become "Break Up With Him" which was a mass singalong. Next up was "Nowhere Fast" which was followed by a short speech saying how great it was to come to the UK and see so many fans when they can play in the US to nobody.
During the easy groove of "Be With Me" there was an Old Dominion first as they were presented with a soft toy penguin from the audience and once again Matt provided photo opportunities by standing on the monitors on each side of the stage. Things slowed slightly for "So You Go" which featured a pedal effect driven guitar solo. Suddenly there was the sound of a radio being switched between stations, it stopped briefly on a bit of Guns & Roses, before the band kicked in with "song For Another Time" which launched some frantic hand waving. the OD boys were clearly enjoying themselves and in pairs stood back to back with each other.
One can only guess that we lost a song or two due to the late start, it is a small comfort that they will be back for C2C 2018, but their position on the bill again suggests that this will be a truncated set - a proper Old Dominion tour is required and it is needed soon!!