With the unfeasibly warm Spring that we’re having, it only seemed appropriate to be in the Shed on a Thursday night to see the sunshine twisted pop of Herman Düne. Before we were exposed to that, however, we were treated to the wonderful world of Mr. Turner Cody. Member of Düne’s touring band, he exposed us to a wonderfully whimsical and lyrical take on anti-folk. Recounting tales of love, loss and whiskey influenced dreams it starting off as a solo acoustic set, his angular guitar playing and twisting leg movements only augmented his American Civil War persona, resplendent in his blue blazer, brass buttons and unkempt beard. When joined by the rest of the Düne band for the latter half of his set, it might have lost some of its quirkiness, but the change in tempo was a welcome one and proof of a quietly confident and impressive singer songwriter.

A brief interlude later and we’re treated to a similarly executed set by Mr. David Düne. Looking like a Jewish Barry Gibb with his long flowing locks and beard, it begins with just him on electric guitar accompanied by the scene-stealing drummer on various pieces of percussion; Düne weaving his beautifully quirky songs of love. Taking his cues from the American west coast, the newer material is more uplifting and lighter, but that doesn’t stop him from executing some harsh, fuzzed up passages of darkness once joined by the full band. Current single “I Wish That I Could See You Soon”, a lush tale of a long-distance relationship, is out of the way early. The set not overly stacked with songs from the recent album, “Giant”, but the rollicking tale of “Bristol” and the aching beauty of“When the Water Gets Cold And Freezes In The Lake” are stripped back live but the arrangements sound full and fresh. The guitars and lyrics full on, the rhythm section weaving increasingly delicate lines through the songs. Whilst it sometimes drifts a little too close to jazz influenced soft-rock in places, it’s still a joy to behold with the band playing with smiles on their faces and obviously coming off the back of a very enjoyable tour. Düne a modern pied-piper, telling tales and casting a spell over the audience, including a spoken word fable of forbidden love that comes true.

As the set draws to a close, and Düne has finished it with some of his darker moments, he genuinely thanks the crowd for coming. In fact, he can’t seem to say enough to thank us and, as we leave the venue, there he is already, helping out and chatting to fans outside. You could almost believe that they’ve been mesmerised into following him out there and onto wherever he goes next.

Turner Cody [myspace]
Herman Düne [official site] [myspace]
Picture courtesy of Jude Clarke [rhythm online]