Broken Social Scene, Heaven, London
Thursday 20 May 2010
"When you're in a band, you get on stage and suddenly everyone's louder and crazier. That's generally the idea with Broken Social Scene," says Kevin Drew, the singer, guitarist and founding member of the sprawling Toronto indie-rock collective that is Broken Social Scene. The strength of that idea is certainly apparent tonight; it's live that they become a real force.
For the past 10 years, Drew and co-frontman and bassist, Brendan Canning, have been assembling their musician friends to write and perform music, with well-known names from the local Canadian indie rock scene – Leslie Feist, Emily Haines of Metric and Amy Millan of Stars included – floating in and out. At their busiest and most cacophonous tonight, during their final song, "Meet Me in the Basement", from their new album, Forgiveness Rock Record, they are 15, including a brass section, violin, several guitars, keyboards, drums and multi-vocalists. Canning still finds the space to leap up and down; it's loud and it's certainly crazy. Broken Social Scene's songs boast shambolic rough-around-the-edges charm, but all the while the often cacophonous instrumentation is in the service of the song, and never slips into the territory of indulgent jamming.
The effect on the listener throughout their near two-hour set is liberating, especially on the exuberant "7/4 (Shoreline)" from their eponymous 2005 album. It's here and elsewhere that they merge the shimmering guitars of post-rock and the melodic punch of indie rock to compelling effect.
"Late Nineties Bedroom Rock For the Missionaries" builds up to a frenzy of guitars. Still, amid the bursts of exuberance, some of their best moments are their more spatial and shoegazey songs. "All to All" is a melodic indie-pop standout, Lisa Lobsinger's airy vocals ringing out like Liz Fraser in The Cocteau Twins, over restrained, twitching guitars and plaintive violin. With this much passion and drive, you can't fail to be uplifted.
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains