London’s The Times has put up a review of Dolores’s performace at the Koko on Friday. The paper gave the performace a 3/5.
David Sinclair at Koko, NW1
The Cranberries’ slide down the greasy pole of pop was so steep during the late Nineties that it is easy to forget how big they were before that. Their most successful album, No Need to Argue, sold more than 16 million copies. The Irish group suspended activities in 2003, but it was not until last month that their singer Dolores O’Riordan released her first solo album, Are You Listening?, a title which must surely be tempting fate.
There were plenty of diehard Cranberries fans among the audience at Koko — the only British show on O’Riordan’s European tour — but what had they come to hear? The singer, now 35 and a mother of three, was obviously there to promote her own album, and performed most of the songs on it. But she wisely opted to take control of the Cranberries’ legacy as well. With the help of a four-man backing band she performed an equal number of old favourites, beginning with Zombie and ending with the group’s first hit, Dreams .
The only woman in pop to have tried out more hairstyles and colours than Madonna, O’Riordan has now opted for a dark shade and a plain, straight cut that was more office secretary than rock chick. She skipped around the stage like a pixie, her slightness of figure emphasised when she strapped on a white guitar that seemed outsized by comparison to play When You’re Gone .
Her voice remains an instrument of fierce tonal extremes but limited emotional range. She has reined in some of the harsh ululating tics that became her trademark, and there was a reflective mood to some of the new songs. “I think that we weren’t always grateful,” she sang on When We Were Young. But a stroppier attitude surfaced on Loser, a disposable indie-pop tune with a lyric full of vengeful put-downs.
In fairness, her own material generally stood up well, especially when compared with the Cranberries’ most famous song, Linger, which was the least interesting performance of the night. But it was nevertheless the hits of her old group, including a pretty version of Just My Imagination and a fast, vibrant Salvation, that carried the show.