Drone-laden psych rock is a difficult beast to tame – too much noise and feedback and it sounds like an inglorious mess, too precise and energetic, well, it’s something else they’re playing. A happy medium is required and Singapore Sling just scraped into the latter category on a sweaty Saturday night in Organ.
The opening bars of ‘Sugar’, some way into their set, was arguably the point where the six piece achieved said happy medium. Driving, droning rock in the style of The Fall crossed with The Velvet Underground, complete with Henrik Bjornsson’s deadpan Lou Reed-style vocal delivery, washed around the venue like sweet tasting fog on a summer’s morning and had people dancing on tables to get a better view. ‘Godman’ and ‘Let’s Go Dancing’ were received with equal enthusiasm, and rightly so.
Following a long tradition of female rock guitarists, from the two The Smashing Pumpkins have employed to Kim Deal of The Pixies, Sling’s Bíbi is one sassy rhythm queen. Anyone who heard and witnessed the frenetic riffs on ‘Sugar’ will understand how unassumingly impressive she is on stage. Whilst the rest of the band put on a low-key performance, sedate even, her confident manner and driving pulses of ground-swelling low notes provided charisma to balance out the other band members’ apparent lack of enthusiasm for a late-night weekend slot possibly more suited to a band with greater uplifting qualities.
That’s not to say Organ wasn’t packed, or that a majority of the audience weren’t enjoying Singapore Sling’s rather epic set but, just as the 90s shoegaze scene was famous for “celebrating itself” in certain parts of the world (fans and bands all went to each other’s gigs thus creating the buzz through their own presence), you got the feeling that it was the avid fans that made the atmosphere rather than the band.
- Verdict: Most people present knew Singapore Sling can play better than they did, but the evening still had some classy moments.
- WHERE: Organ
- WHEN: Friday, June 20
- WHO: Singapore Sling