EVER since their dark and evocative debut album, Lost Souls, arrived to almost universal acclaim at the end of the 1990s, Doves have been a mainstay of the UK music scene.

Unfazed by the hype and glitz of the industry, they have steered a lone path, content to play their own music and ensure that style never gets in the way of substance. Their undiminished appeal three albums down the line has been achieved through the sheer brilliance of the songs and their ability to recreate that sound live.

Tonight is no exception. Despite only being three-piece - although they're accompanied on this tour by a keyboardist - the band are able to create an amazingly diverse range of sounds. The result is that brooding masterpieces like This is a Call lose none of their intensity and power on stage. The audience is in high spirits and the group respond to the general euphoria.

By the time the encore comes round with a sublime version of their undoubted calling card, There Goes the Fear, you are left wondering how it is that this group haven't gone on to achieve the level of success that their talent so obviously merits.

But then perhaps we should thank our lucky stars that they've kept their distance and avoided being swallowed up by the media machine.

Published: 05/04/2005