Saturday, October 24, 2009

Live Review: SLOAN

Monday, June 11, 2007 
The Corner

Following The Pictures support slot (which coaxes a concise and dispassionate review from Ben Butler - 'Teh Pictures suxor'), several minutes of football terrace chanting of the headliner's name elicits an eager bunch of Nova Scotians from stage left, raring to play the last gig of their Australian tour. Straight away energy levels are sky high and the three-song-no-break introduction of Flying High Again, Who Taught You To Live Like That? and Ill Placed Trust assure us that tonight will belong to them alone. The three-part harmonies are spot on, rhythms rock solid and the guitars have the right amount of punk and pop to not be pop punk but injected with energy and melody. Sloan seem to have quietly built a solid fanbase here and it is quite incredible to see the number of nodding heads mouthing words, hands aloft and even a Nova Scotian flag showing the passion for this rarely-mentioned band. That most seem to be in their early 30s indicates perhaps the late 90s were Sloan's heyday and maybe there are just a few songs bringing the punter out, though tonight shows the quality of their songwriting hasn't dropped and many songs come from last year's 29-song Never Hear The End Of It album.

Given that each member is a songwriter, personalities soon become pronounced; bassist Chris Murphy likes to write songs in which he can throw a high kick (All Used Up), Jay Ferguson is a master of melody and orchestrating harmonies (Who Taught You To Live Like That?), Patrick Pentland loves to squeeze in a metal solo (Losing California) and drummer Andy Scott writes, sings and plays guitar the way he drums, with truckloads of energy and volume (I Can't Sleep). It's tracks like the double-shot from 1998's Navy Blues album Money City Maniacs and C'mon C'mon (We're Gonna Get It Started) or I Hate My Generation where all these elements get to shine and they really prove their stuff. It's these songs that rouse the audience the most and have proved that nine years hasn't dulled them one bit. Murphy and Pentland have the unintentionally hilarious habit of pushing their glasses up their nose whenever playing an open string or holding a note during their guitar solo respectively, and it is this sort of (probably Nova Scotian) lack of pretentiousness that works so well with their songs, which more involve you than sweep you away. Judging by Sloan's new material, they're not toying with a winning formula, an example being the closing song for their new album and the gig, Another Way I Could Do It which allows Murphy to act the showman again, something he loves as much as the crowd does. After more football-type chanting, the encore sees The Wellingtons' Kate Goldby join the band for a tender rendition of I Can Feel It which precedes into a scorching singalong closer of If It Feels Good, Do It. Sloan are all about the songs and the showmanship and tonight had both in spades.

No comments:

Post a Comment