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American singer/songwriter Dave Hause returns to the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth on his 4–show UK headline tour that might seem a little too short, but do not worry, Dave will be back in the UK in November for a proper headline tour to promote his upcoming album (due out in the fall, or 'autumn' as Dave has learnt whilst here in the UK!), which he’s finished recording recently.  You might have seen Dave in the UK on several occasions, including the Revival Tour in 2011 and supporting the Alkaline Trio or The Gaslight Anthem on their UK tour last year.

He joined this year’s Revival Tour line up in America once again and right after that he headed off to Europe to play a few festivals and sold out shows before arriving to the UK together with his support act Jonny Two Bags.

Dave definitely belongs to the category of the hardest working solo musicians, constantly touring, writing new songs and providing people with honest music that touches hearts all around and giving people a very special and unforgettable live experience at his acoustic shows.  Tonight is no different. The Wedgewood Rooms might not be sold out but that doesn’t affect the atmosphere in the audience, which includes some dedicated fans who have travelled to every show.

As the first and the only support act Jonny Two Bags from the Californian punk rock band Social Distortion comes on stage and opens the show with his solo acoustic set, this gets us all in the right mood for this music-filled evening. Jonny’s wonderful performance and songs leave smiles on our faces and the ones who haven’t been familiar with him before are glad to discover another great singer/songwriter

After a short break, the man of the night Dave Hause shoots on stage, picks up his electric guitar and opens the set with Heavy Heart, a punkier version of the song compared to the one on his debut album Resolutions.  Dave wholeheartedly sings ‘Don’t let your heavy heart drag you down’ and it’s surely a great opener. The audience is a little bit shy at the beginning but we soon join Dave as he commands us to sing along while he plays Melanin and Jane - a track of The Loved Ones, his former band. The following song Autism Vaccine Blues is a new track off his upcoming album, which gives us a taste of what’s surely going to be another outstanding record.

The best thing about these kinds of shows is the building relationship between the solo artist and the audience as the set goes on, and the ones who have seen Dave live before know, how good he is at winning the hearts of the crowd. He interacts with us between the songs, sometimes during them and he’s friendly, honest and funny - just like any of us but much cooler for making music, that’s so easy to fall in love with, sing along to and relate to in many ways.

At one point he asks if there is anyone who’s working the following day – a Bank Holiday Monday, to which a few people including a guy in the front row answer yes. Dave asks this guy what’s his job, to which he replies in a soft and humble voice ‘I’m a carer’. Dave finds this amusing and wonderful at the same time, so he praises the guy for doing such a beautiful job and picks up one of his beers off the stage and offers it to him. Yes, this makes us like him even more.

As the night goes on we sing along to tracks like Prague, Pray For Tucson, Years From Now and Time Will Tell. Dave even plays a cover of Richard Thompson’s Feel So Good and another new track called The Shine, where he tells the crowd to divide right in the middle, and tells one side to sing ‘If you’ve got the shine’ and the other ‘Shine on’. Both sides sing out loud these words repeatedly and it makes the moment one of the highlights of the night.

After Resolutions, Dave leaves the stage with Thank You but we cheer for more and shortly after he comes back and plays a two track encore. First one is an incredible acoustic version of The Bridge, another song from The Loved Ones and then finishes this very special night with one of the favourites – C’mon Kid, while we sing our hearts out once again together to the uplifting lyrics ‘C'mon kid, c'mon, it's one foot and then the other, everybody needs a hand sometimes, everybody needs a brother. Well c'mon kid, c'mon, I'm reaching out to you, get out of bed kid, face the world, and show us what you can do’

Dave Hause has reached out to us with his music tonight and left us inspired; going home with a great feeling and loving music just a bit more.

Review by Eva Jostakova
Videos by Richard Peck

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