LIVE: Dana Gavanski – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 01/03/2022 1

LIVE: Dana Gavanski – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 01/03/2022

“It’s just an old war
Not even a cold war
Don’t say it in Russian
Don’t say it in German
Say it in broken English

Say it in broken English

Dana Gavanski concludes her quite brilliant performance this evening with an absolutely stunning cover of the title track from Marianne Faithfull’s 1979 album Broken English. Even allowing for the fact that the song deals with terrorism and the Baader-Meinhof group prevalent in the West Germany of the 1970s, given the current Russian invasion of Ukraine its words acquire an even greater emotional relevance today. Speaking to Gavanski after the show she explains that it had not been a conscious decision on her part beforehand to choose this particular song but having done so it’s unsettling power and poignancy are undeniable. It is a genuinely moving experience listening to it once again in such harrowing times.

Dana Gavanski’s set had rightly deserved such a dramatic and powerful conclusion, building as it had done for the previous hour towards this grand finale. She is now three dates into a tour that “had to be cancelled about 10 times” for a variety of reasons including the London-based Canadian-Serb musician having lost her voice last year. And it is clearly in good shape this evening, if anything having returned stronger and with a greater urgency and potency.


As has been the case with most people the last couple of years has been extremely difficult for Dana Gavanski but it did at least afford her the opportunity to write a lot of new songs. This new material will feature on her second album When It Comes, which is due out on April 29th via Full Time Hobby. And the bulk of this evening’s set is populated by these songs as Gavanski and her wonderful band – James Howard (guitar), Clémentine March (bass), Dimi Anontis (keys), and Thomas Broda (drums) – play the forthcoming record in its entirety save for the album’s last track, ‘Knowing To Trust’.

They open with the serene charm of ‘I Kiss The Night’ before slowly and markedly shifting up through the musical gears. By the time that they have reached the driving force that is ‘Indigo Highway’ it is evident Dana Gavanski’s songwriting has now moved into another creative orbit. For all the undoubted delight and more straightforward pop of her 2020 debut album Yesterday Is Gone, these newer songs have an increased depth, sophistication and innate wonderment to them. As its name suggests ‘Letting Go’ feels liberating and ‘The Day Unfolds’ packs an incredible punch in its coda courtesy of some gloriously demented guitar from James Howard. And ‘Lisa’, the penultimate song of the evening and possibly the best track on the new album, is spectacular, highlighting the newly acquired freedom and elasticity of Gavanski’s voice.

Photos: Simon Godley

More photos from this show are HERE

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.