Following the release of her fifth studio album, Still On My Mind, Dido’s just completed her first tour in a decade and a half, with an upbeat celebration of her genre-merging career to date.
“Hello London… I’ve waited a long time to say that.” She’s not lying — 15 years after her last UK tour, Dido is back in celebration of her fifth studio album, Still On My Mind, and while her music never went away (she last released an album in 2013), it’s been very much a Kate Bush state of affairs.
As you’d expect when there’s a new album to flog, the night opens with a new track — Hurricanes begins with Dido’s iconic, comforting vocal accompanied only with acoustic guitar, before the undeniable influence of her brother Rollo comes in with hypnotic loops and trippy samples, building to the sort of crescendo that could quite easily destroy buildings in its path… Before bringing it all back to how it began. It’s a formula Dido often follows, allowing for each track to let its own drama unfold.
But it’s the bigger sounds of this track that the very casual listeners might be surprised to learn is no new thing. While huge singles Thank You and Life For Rent showcase an important part of Dido’s discography, she’s an artist who’s been experimenting with various genres throughout her career, and Still On My Mind is the pinnacle of this, from the singalong “la la las” of Take You Home to the Sia-esque pop banger Mad Love and underground, Latino club beats of Hell After This.
On her absence from the stage, Dido mentions how “15 years ago my world went crazy — and I wasn’t expecting that”, but if there are nerves she doesn’t let them show, chatting comfortably between tracks and talking about her inspirations, including a number for her son (Give You Up) and one written about an ex (See You When You’re 40), delivered with a threat not to ever cross her.
Here With Me and White Flag receive applauds that drown out her thanks, while often overlooked debut album track Take My Hand once again reminds that Dido has never really been all about the big ballads, transforming a sweltering Camden Roundhouse into a chilled Ibiza night. Thankfully Dido made a promise not to leave it so long again, and she wasn’t lying with more UK dates later this year, including a night at Eventim Apollo. Get your tickets here.