DR. DIDG | 02.08.02 | ROCHESTER

Dr. Didg takes deep trancelike grooves and pushes them to the limit using a combination of their musical talents and technology. When you think about Dr. Didg, you might think that it is just one person creating music, but it is not. Dr. Didg has four members; Graham Wiggins leads a very powerful backing band made up of a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Wiggins controls the grooves and takes them to new heights using a variety of instruments, such as the mellodica and keyboards. In addition to these, as the name suggests, he uses the didgeridoo as the main element for percussion and bass, driving the band with the resonating tones. His many years of study with indigenous people is apparent in his excellent didgeridoo abilities. Not only is Graham the doctor of his own domain, the didgeridoo, but he has a Ph. D. in physics. After studying the didgeridoo for almost 20 years, he formed the band Dr. Didg coupling his educational background with his musical expertise to create a unique name and sound.

Dr. Didg takes the music to deep, dark, new and different dimensions with very intuitive trance-like grooves. With the use of looping and onstage sampling, Graham is able to move seamlessly between the didgeridoo, keyboards, and mellodica while still maintaining a strong and rhythmic groove. The band doesn’t do a bad job of improvising and keeping Graham on his toes, either. Wiggins is continuously adjusting levels and effects to maintain a good mix, and he somehow keeps it all together while he directs the rest of the band. The sounds of the didgeridoo sink deep into your soul and take you for a ride. Without lyrics, the listener has more time to examine the beats and feel the music, and Dr. Didg concentrates on keeping it interesting. This unique instrument is not found often in bands today, and Graham integrates it perfectly. If you have ever tried to blow into a didgeridoo you know that it is very difficult and takes a large amount of breath and lungpower. Graham Wiggins has been able to master the art of circular breathing, so he is able to keep the beats coming from the didg somewhat continuously and seamlessly. Graham is an innovator, and he has created a new and unique sound that is sure to keep everyone moving to the beat.

This was definitely the case at Milestones this past Friday in Rochester. Jimmy T brought us a great show and the small bar was packed to the brim. The energy was very high until the wee hours when Jimmy T was able to slightly ‘bend’ the rules and let the didgmaster continue on past 2am.

The encore, “Brand New Shoes” from Didg’s latest studio album, called Serotonality, was a huge crowd pleaser and Graham really showed off his skills. During his solo in a particular part of the jam, you could clearly hear him talking into the didgeridoo as he was playing it, and at one point he says, “didgeridoo is talkin’ to you.” This is just one of those moments that makes you do a double take, and tap your friend and say to them, “did you just hear what I heard?" It really is incredible stuff that he does with that didgeridoo.

We were even further dazzled when the saxophonist from The Waz came out for a quick solo with Didg. It was powerful but he was definitely working hard in order to fit in with the unique and complex grooves of Dr. Didg. As everyone was quickly shoved out the doors at 2:30 the band finally ended their intense set, the smiles on everyone’s faces were huge, and Graham even came out to greet some of the fans and sign some autographs.

Ian Stone
JamBase | Upstate New York
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[Published on: 2/10/02]

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