Joe Grimshaw sways in front of the microphone, his shoulder length hair sliding over his heavily lidded eyes. His voice, fuzzy but perfectly pitched, hurls through the speakers at an eardrum-shattering volume. Max Palmier is bent over the drum kit, the backbone of the impossibly heavy sound, as if in a world of his own. This is Dolomite Minor at Electrowerkz, a Southampton duo that, like their Solent colleagues Band Of Skulls, know how to rock.
Amidst a sea of teenagers dressed in Nylon-magazine-neon-nostalgia, older punks and grunge lovers also mill about happily. The whole crowd is entranced by the duo on stage; their short, sweet, and to the point set. Dolomite Minor occupy the tiny stage well and despite a complete lack of audience interaction, manage to hold the audience’s attention. There’s very few technical pauses – a flurry of red and blue strobe lights cover the only two guitar changes, and no between-song tuning – which helps keep their streamlined set exceptionally tight. Dolomite Minor play like they’re old pros, with all the enthusiasm of the up-and-coming.
Songs like When I’m Dead and Let Me Go show Dolomite Minor’s musical breadth. The former is a classic grunge hit. Its pithy, repetitive, chorus with fuzzy grunge pop hook is reminiscent of what made Nirvana such a success. But Dolomite Minor aren’t copycats, and they bring their own subtlety. Even without a bass player, the duo manage a heaviness that isn’t hollow and their ease on stage reaffirms the lean quality of their sound.
With a very devoted crowd, all head banging en masse, Dolomite Minor moved easily from When I’m Dead into Watch Yourself, the only song where their stage presence fell short. Grimshaw’s guitar solo wasn’t quite technically innovative or enchanting enough. While the die-hards reached up in awe as he edged closer to the stage, a bit of the magic dissipated in his lacklustre plucking.
This was quickly remedied as they began Let Me Go. Glimmers of The Door’s Back Door Man shone through in Grimshaw’s drawl and Palmier’s metronome tempo. Again, however, Dolomite Minor strayed from the original just enough to make it feel fresh. The extended instrumental ending didn’t drag on too long and in a flurry the band put down their instruments and wandered off stage, without another word. While some might see it as cheeky, not expressing their gratitude to the fans who trekked out on a frigid Thursday night, it also revealed a dedication to the music as opposed to a thirst for the limelight. All in all, Dolomite Minor provided a lean night of heavy rock music. The kind of night that one can look back on fondly.