Some people are just too damn kind and some of those people make up She Keeps Bees. Not only did we get their new album Dig On out last Monday, but also we had a release show at the Borderline to follow on Thursday. Spoilt only touches the surface.
The support act Oh Ruin, a one man act of singer/songwriter Eoin O’Ruainigh who mounted the stage saying ‘First band called in sick… so I’m here’ proceeded with his well-versed acoustic-blues. His acoustic guitar was plugged into a distorting amp, which gave it a haunting feeling alongside his croaking vocals.
For his final song, not before breaking a string on an electric number, SKB appear on stage in what is possibly the most assured song in his set.
The aforementioned string was dutifully replaced by none other than SKB’s drummer Andy LaPlant – what a gent – and then SKB’s appeared on stage featuring a third member (to beef up their live show) – Mr Eoin O’Ruainigh himself.
In reality though, the only thing that anybody really noticed was Jessica Larrabee taking the stage – a striking, dark haired presence that brings the room to almost silence – she launches into the opener with the drums dualing with her powerful vocals and I’m instantly enthralled.
I say ‘almost silence’, as there were three of the most annoying people surrounding us who I can only describe as having zero gig etiquette. I won’t go into detail, but if you cannot concentrate with such an absorbing and brilliantly mad front-woman playing songs no more than 3 minutes long, you probably shouldn’t be there. Rant over.
Thankfully SKB and I both ignored the incessant chit-chat of our neighbours and concentrated on the music. Larrabe’s voice is incredible live, breaking at points to find those crackly southern drawls that influence their sound on ‘Gimmie’.
New tracks ‘See Me’ and ‘Farmer’ benefit hugely from the dual, fuzzy guitar attack, as they bring out the head boppers in the distinguished crowd.
The songs are all so short (it feels like we’ve had complete renditions of Nest and new album Dig On), flourishing in 3 minutes of blues-rock grittiness.
Yes the sound becomes rather familiar, but that is partially what their music is about, simplicity, soul, passion – and it does help considerably to have a voice like Larrabee’s.
With LaPlant’s lazy beats, booming fills and cleaver cymbal play – there is always something interesting happening on stage.
She Keeps Bees – do come back soon.