Review by Andrew Horan

Doldrums, the project from former Spiral Beach guitarist Airck Woodhead, served as a replacement for Chilean psych-rock band Holydrug Couple after they were unable to attend.

Woodhead greeted the audience with a sprightly, “What’s up?” before they launched into their first song. He commented that after the band had spent the last few months touring the world, it was fitting that they had returned to his hometown to play a venue that was located a block away from where he grew up. The former Toronto resident decamped to Montreal following Spiral Beach calling it a day.

They kicked off their set with a song that featured a minimal intro before morphing into a bass-heavy dance-pop number. It seamlessly led into the second song that saw Woodhead almost lose his mic at one point but managing to make a smooth recovery.

As their set progressed, it became obvious that Underworld was a major influence on Doldrums’ beat-heavy electronic music, though Woodhead’s androgynous vocals are a stark contrast to Karl Hyde’s ranting speak/sing style.

Many of the songs had a classic techno feel to them but despite this, only a few people in the audience seemed to really get into it, despite the large crowd that had gathered at the front of the stage. To his credit, Woodhead did make an effort to get the audience hyped up, one song featured a stellar drum solo, but for the most part, the audience seemed to be content to just stand there.

Doldrums brought a rave-like atmosphere to Lee’s that was fitting considering the black-lit art from Toronto artist on the wall. It would have been nice if the audience had gotten into it. Woodhead has an engaging stage presence and he’s a charismatic frontman who could have benefitted from a crowd that was a bit more into the music.