The new (ish) S1 Artspace hosted on July 1st , 2011 (a day of infamy for kebab joints) the single launch gig for Hey Sholay ( a single we reviewed).
Opening duties were courtesy of ABE. Armed with a laptop, electronic drums (including an retro sci-fi electronic bass drum) and a guitar, their music was strange but slowly taking form during their set. Their last song (no setlist, sorry) was probably the best one, starting as a drone piece and becoming loud while still maintaining that iterative nature.
It was well past 10 and although it was night time, the tiny room at S1 Artspace was like a convection oven. An action film was playing silently on the back (and it kept playing, making this launch sort of a re-scoring) when Hey Sholay entered.
The five-piece knows how to put a show and how to communicate with the audience. Opening with ‘Wishbone’, a new one that for a moment feels like a slower, friendlier version of ‘Burning’, was a good choice to get the spirits going. Following it with a corker like ‘Devil at the backdoor’ was just continuing to ride the wave of rock. ‘Burning’ and ‘In bed with old Nick’ were well received too.
My fave thing about the Hey Sholay live experience is how they always seem to be bobbing in unison, whether following the catchy bass of Stefan Kania during ‘Dreamboat’ or following the precise drumming of Robin Philpot in ‘Devil at the backdoor’.
Of course, some pedalboard envy is natural when watching (and coveting) what Laurie Leigh Allport is carrying in his arsenal. Although Hey Sholay sounds rock pop on a first instance, there’s a couple of layers going around (thanks to some keyboard magic from Liam Ward) and there’s experimental moments too, but they are pretty well hidden and subtle enough (love the use of a Kaoss pad by vocalist Liam Creamer). One of these experimental moments is the b-side to the ‘Dreamboat single’, a ditty called ‘The Bears, The Clocks, The Bees’. It’s a slower pace for an usually hyperactive band but it’s a nice change of pace, with a crazy mantra droning at the end.
The last song, a new one called ‘Golden’ (I think) is another of those more experimental moments, and, strangely enough, it kinda made the point that pairing Hey Sholay with ABE was a good combination, as the song, at least in spirit, was similar: a drone piece that slowly but surely grew and exploded. This might be overanalysing bollocks.
All in all a great, sweaty gig with two good bands.