I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, the band with the ridiculously long name that sprouted out of the ashes of The Brockecks. They’re a band that I am always excited to see, and after they experienced a hellish week including a variety of technical and logistical difficulties, the band took to the stage, everything precariously close to collapse- and played their set at The Forum in Kentish Town.
Often there has been conversation within the scene about two person bands, especially around Twenty One Pilots, and how interesting they can make their show with such few members. But IDKHow are proof that the less members your band has, the more intense and exciting of a show you can provide.
Dallon Weekes moves like an American Jarvis Cocker, drawling commands into the microphone with a vocal fry that gives off a powerful and sensual energy, and the crowd are all for it, hanging on his every word. It’s clear he enjoys his control over the audience, taking his time and pushing the limits on what he can make the crowd participate in. In fact, it seems like the band are just one big experiment in trying to get the crowd to do more and more difficult tasks.
Within the first couple of songs the audience is instructed and led through a beautiful several part harmony. With each task slowly building in difficulty, the audience ends up completely silent 45 minutes into the show, as Dallon, microphone-less and in the centre of a soon-to-be wall of death, yells call and response commands, confident that he’s about to create magic. This unbridled trust exercise leads to “Visitation Of The Ghost” (a Brobecks cover) being excessively long, even though it was missing its second verse. The band manage to find time to have the audience sing several rounds of a gospel reminiscent “Oh Lord”s, for Ryan to impressively play bass and drum and the same time, for Dallon to share a whole story about the bands journey to the UK, for the crowd to be hushed and split as Dallon climbs into the crowd to perform the microphone-less call and response, and for the audience to engage in a finger-click-a-thon as Dallon makes his way back out the crowd to finish the final chorus. Whilst I think all of that is pretty impressive, fitting that all into one song was exhausting. It’s true, IDKHow know how to put on a show, but it would’ve been nice to cut down on the dramatics so they could actually play all of their singles.
That seems to be IDKHow’s only problem- really indulging themselves with the time that they’re given. Including the encore the band played 14 songs, only 11 by the band and even less played in full. Between each of their 14 songs, Dallon shared yet another story about their journey to the UK, what happened at the last show, how he met his wife, how he feels about his children, how the band started… The first 4 or 5 stories were enjoyable- Dallon has a presence that truly encapsulates a crowd- but slowly I realised I wasn’t at a gig, I was at a cabaret. The energy died as we listened to Dallon speak, only for it to perk up during a song and die again after. Sure- it truly is a testament to the band that they can create such effervescent energy whenever they play, but they masochistically never let it pay off. Because of this, IDKHow didn’t particularly earn the time they spent slowing things down. The crowd swayed during a slightly soggy Boys Don’t Cry cover that would’ve been perfectly placed and received if not for the unpredictable stop-start energy.
It’s a shame, because when the band were playing everything seemed magical. It didn’t matter that the stage was sparse or that there were technical difficulties because they came back strong every single time a new song started. From Ryan standing on his chair to play tambourine and batting back some banter between songs, to Dallon’s powerful voice peaking as his knees buckled- the band clearly have star power. Maybe as they release more songs they’ll settle into their set, and I Don’t Know How But They Found Me will finally get to explore the result of their hard work. The allure and commanding engaging energy from the two piece is just a testament to the fact that they’re a band that’s going to survive and thrive- they’re simply made to be.