Thursday 25 November 2010

Review: The Strange Boys

Cute Cute Cute!
I know this is not how you should describe a serious artistic project. And yet, I want to take this group home with me and keep them as pets. They could play for me when I wake up in the mornings and when I go to bed at night.

Seriously though, what a night! The Strange boys didn't actually start playing until quarter to mignight, on a Wednesday. Spirits were a bit low by the time they began their set and there was actually nobody in front of the stage. People had kind of gone half asleep at that point. One song played, everybody was clapping, dancing, shouting, excited. It was that easy for the Texans to kick off a party at White Trash's.

And that party lasted until over an hour later when after the last song people refused to let the band go without an encore even though they had explained beforehand that no encores were to be played since they had already extended the set and "we just turn very bad if we keep playing and we want to look good". And good they looked.

So what was it about The Strange Boys that everybody fell in love with them the instance they hit the stage? How did they seduce us despite having a blue harp and a saxophone as part of their instrumentation? (As an anecdote: Some saxophone player on the radio the other day commented that he himself doesn't actually like the sound of the saxophone. That tells you something). The secret lies in a) their personalities - you just want to be best friends with them, b) in singer Ryan Sambol's voice and technique (how does he do that?) and c) in the saxophone player, yes, the saxophone.
Jenna Thornhill-DeWitt, a former member of Mika Miko (yum!) knows to use her instrument to enhance the music, give it a je-ne-sais-quoi without doing that show off solo saxophone business that so many saxophone players tend to do.

The Strange Boys basically play garage rock, strongly influenced by blues and country as well as punk, but add those little above mentioned features to give it a twist. This sounds good on record but really comes into effect live when you feel transported into the 1960s and the energy people used to feel when listing to new exciting young American sounds
. Wonderful and all-consuming. I expected a chilled evening, I got a dance party.

Are you still listening to the first Kings Of Leon album? Stuck on The Thrills? Start living, start listening to The Strange Boys!

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