11th Sep 2012 4:44am | By Caitlin Stanway
When a tip came through to check out newly signed indie band the SALOONS at Upstairs Beresford, I was both excited to be hearing something new, and unfazed at the very high probability that the band would, quite frankly, suck.
You see, there is nothing better than a gamble on a band whose music you’ve never heard.
Friday night's free gigs at upstairs Beresford always pull a crowd, regardless of who’s playing – more for the sake of being at the venue than actually listening to new bands.
This Friday night was no exception. The crowd was large but rowdy, and no one seemed to be paying particular attention to the music shop that had set up onstage.
I’ve never seen so many instruments outside of an orchestral setting, and the sheer mass of wind, percussion and keys had me intrigued as to what, exactly, I had come to see.
With no grandeur whatsoever, the SALOONS took to the stage and launched into their first song. It was immediately clear that they were not your average Beresford band. To start with they have a harpist. Yes, a harpist. He is also the insanely talented lead singer. Who is the brother of the insanely talented guitarist. Who is also the flutist. Throw in keys, drums and a saxophone and you get the picture. These dudes are different. In the best possible way.
Making their way steadily through originals that will no doubt come together in an intimidating album, their music is incredible. The band members, two brothers and a couple of friends, pick up, put down, and dominate instruments all over the stage, making it somewhat visually confusing. What they lacked in rehearsed stage performance (what can you expect from a band who have only released one song for download?) they make up for in sound.
Their original track “Morning Sun” goes someway to stun the still restless audience, however considering the general profile of Beresford gig goers, this has very little to do with the band and more to do with patrons wanting to drink rather than listen.
After a set heavy in quality songwriting, I was disappointed when they announced their last long, and then started up with a cover of “Riders on the Storm” by the Doors. The disappointment didn’t last long as all was more than forgiven when the sax came out.
True to the fan-fare-free style, these musos rock, they finished the set, downed instruments and walked off stage, leaving me stunned and wondering how much I’ll be paying for their tickets in the future. I hate to imagine.