LIVE @ ELECTRIC OWL SEPTEMBER 28TH
The venue was pleasantly full, early show on a Friday evening and the crowd could have very well been the chillest in town. Good for Grapes, local talent from Surrey opened with their big-band glam-folk stomping sounds. In the streak of this year’s new party folk, they ‘rocked’ with accordions, acoustics and howls. With potential to fill much bigger venues their energetic act promised a night of surprises unseen since The Lumineers came last spring accompanied by Y La Bamba.
Shakey Graves came on stage after dozens of instruments had been cleared out. A beat up guitar, wife beater, suspender and his traveling luggage case strapped with two drum kick pedals. One-man-shows are tough, instant deal breakers after the show of electroacoustic lights of the previous Surrey gang. Unbeknownst to all, the ragged Texas native proceeded to pump the swarm of youngsters below with some of the best country-blues this town remembers in recent history. An impressive grave incident of pure Americana with simple percussions that kept feet dancing, the Western strumming appeasing the weak of heart and a vocals that remind of the very best of A.A Bondy. Proof of his personal success is that folkies, clubsters, young and old swayed erratically together during the short set.
The main act of the evening He’s My Brother She’s My Sister took the reins up next. Just a few facts to get out of the way prior: yes they are siblings, yes that is a real lap steel guitar and yes their drummer plays standing up while tap dancing on a big drum. That alone was worth the visit. Sister frontwoman Rachel Kolar in her lycra bodysuit/pink-polka-dot onesie took the stage by force and stole the show with acrobatic singing and enough sheer drama in her thespian prowess to make of the performance a cathartic experience. Her brother loomed more in the shadows complimenting her visual explosions with a mature rock persona that seemed confident and the cornerstone for the rest of the band. Sound was impeccable and with every new song a new surprise (tap-dancing percussions namely) surfaced to make us wish all three sets had been a little longer.
Words by Chris Kummerfeldt.