This article was first published on CLUAS in Nov 1999
Caroline on the slow-burning Dublin band Dot Creek
The first time I saw Dot Creek was when they supported the Revenants in Whelan's. It was just after the Revenants released their new album September Nowhere to a large amount of hype amongst old-time journalists. I arrived half-way through Dot Creek's set and was immediately sorry that I hadn't arrived earlier (during the Revenants set I was sorry that I hadn't left earlier as well - but that's another story...). From what looked like a rather ramshackle line-up came wonderfully gentle harmonies that were instantly captivating and very different from what you can hear elsewhere in Dublin these days.
Dot Creek aren't really a band with a masterplan. The five members - Shane, Nigel, Biggley, Liam and John - all have jobs and they find it difficult enough to get together to write and rehearse, without trying to think too hard about the future. They freely admit to not being very organised and believe that 'everything that has happened to us is not because of us, but because of other people'. This may be true but you don't get such help from people unless they believe in what you are doing - and their music is the reason for that.
This past summer they released a single on Julius Geezer Records called Dragged Up/Down with Woe. This happened more by luck than by design. After they had recorded six songs they were approached by Julius Geezer who wanted to release a limited 7" single. The only two songs that were actually finished were the ones that were used. According to Nigel 'we really had nothing to do with it - we just gave them a DAT tape - and got back a box of 7" singles two months later.' Julius Geezer also organised a launch gig and all Dot Creek basically had to do 'was show up'.
Besides releasing the single Dot Creek have also been very lucky with the support slots that they have played. Over the past 18 months they have supported bands like the Handsome Family, Willard Grant Conspiracy and the Great Western Squares, all of which have given them a chance to showcase their music in front of like-minded people. Despite playing with such stalwarts of the alt.country scene Dot Creek do not want to get pigeonholed into this slot: 'we never heard of Gram Parsons until a few years ago, we do love the Byrds but they are not a big influence.' As far as they are concerned they 'don't really have a country background.' What Dot Creek hope to do in the end of the day is to make beautiful music. They don't think too much about how they sound to other people - 'we just go and do it.' Tellingly, they prefer recording to playing live as 'you can do more with how it sounds.' Still, it is well worth trying to catch them live if you can, you're in for a pleasant surprise.
Dot Creek play Whelan's with the Jubilee All-Stars on 28th Dec '99 for the launch
of the second single from the 'Road Relish Singles club'.
Check out Brano's review of Dot Creek's January 2000 gig in Whelan's.