Live Music + Gig Reviews

Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew @ Scala, London

5 September 2007


Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew

So that’s Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew. Who is one of the co-founders and the lead songwriter in Broken Social Scene. And he’s performing with a band. A band consisting solely of members of Broken Social Scene. Seriously, think about it too much and you’ll tear a hole in the space-time continuum.

Suffice to say Kevin Drew’s solo material from new album Spirit If, which is what tonight was about, sounds not a trillion miles away from that produced under his tenure in BSS. Not that anyone here had a problem with that. And although the loudest cheers were reserved for those brief sojourns into recent Broken Social history, and frankly both Canada vs. America and Cause = Time did sound absolutely mighty, the other songs in no way disgraced themselves.

They certainly kept that skewed, twisted, experimental feel. Songs which look one way from a distance, but then reveal themselves to be totally different close up. Take Backed Out On The…: initially it’s your standard MOR radio stomper from the heartland. Boo you think. But as it slowly resonates around the confines of the Scala something very odd happens, and you start to hear something else ntirely. Something which comes off like Dinosaur Jr. melting Bryan Adams‘ Summer Of 69 with an oxyacetylene torch.

Or TBTF. The archetypal lovers ode, but examined through the wrong end of a telescope. Sweet, but with a black heart. Performed by a bunch of guys willing to take risks, to stick it out there and to hell with the consequences. All very easy and laid back. Perhaps a little too laid back.

For all that the interminably long periods they spent chatting and tuning and complaining about monitors in between songs may have helped with the loose, friendly atmosphere, it meant things did start to edge into watch tapping, last tube home concern.

Still, as we all know, you’ve got to lick a lot of toads before you kiss the sky. So if the price we’ve got to pay for another one of those colossal Broken Social Scene arrangements that just blow you down is the odd period where you just wish they’d fucking get on with it, then so be it.

So as things ended with Drew demonstrating absolutely, positively the best way to deal with a heckler (pulling them on stage and dancing a waltz with them for those taking notes), it really no longer mattered who was presenting who.

Because when those unlikely looking indie princes all lock in, and the huge fuzzy wall of sound they produce comes collapsing down on another damn near perfect pop melody it’s the kind of experience you stop people on the street to tell them about. Regardless of what name was on the poster.


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Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew @ Scala, London