We’re not at our best on Monday evenings. Having faced theunremittingly grim task of dragging ourselves into another week, a task framedby the echo of the weekend’s debauchery, the very last thing we want to do isbounce up and down.
The last thing, that is, until Broken Social Scene congregate in Heaven andstart to play those joyous, euphoric riffs. From the moment they strike uprecent single World Sick this group of musicians have a beatific air.Against all odds, we’re bouncing up and down.
For the first few songs, de facto frontman Kevin Drew complains about soundproblems. They may be apparent onstage but down on the floor the musicsounds note perfect, Heaven’s sound system delivering with face-shakingaplomb. Their set list balances choice selections from their new ForgivenessRock Record, including Texico Bitches and Sentimental X’s, with undimmedolder material like Cause=Time, Capture The Flag and 7/4 Shoreline. It’sless about the songs, though, and more about the sheer energy they stuffinto every note. They could be playing covers of nursery rhymes and you’dstill have a great big smile plastered all over your face.
What really sets this band apart is what a vast, shape-shifting project itis. At times there were 15 people on stage, while at other times therewere just two. Each member is at ease switching places and grabbing hold ofa new instrument. They’ve even dragged along a brass section they collectedin Brighton.
At one point early on, the latest face to join the scrum turns out to bePavement‘s Spiral Stairs, although his contribution is primarily to dancearound deliriously and holler some backing vocals. Charles Spearin, of DoMake Say Think, is a more regular and more productive guest collaborator.
Alongside Drew, Brendan Canning is a tightly wound dynamo let loose acrossthe stage. He seems to move solely in classic rock poses, a flurry ofbass-wielding high-kicks. Lisa Lobsinger drifts on and off, but when she isonstage her gorgeous vocals hold the attention even against the constantblur of background activity.
Heaven couldn’t be a more appropriate venue, because there’s an ecstaticverve to Broken Social Scene that conveys a passion and conviction in theirmusic-making. By the time they get to finale Meet Me In The Basement everysingle member of this Social Scene is pushed out onto the stage. The stageis crammed full of harmonious love, and so are our ears.