Thursday, May 28, 2009

Old Man River = tops

grainy mobile phone shot, apologies

Let me start by saying that Ohad Rein and his band are - in the words of Derek Zoolander - incredibly, incredibly good looking. The fact that they smile a lot, make beautiful music and are excellent musicians also contributes to me rating Old Man River (OMR from now on for the sake of preventing RSI) as an all round tops band.

I caught their show last night upstairs at the Beach Rd Hotel (God bless the Beachie for putting on great shows every week for freeeeeeee) and considering the only songs that I knew were the obvious hits, Sunshine and La, I was surprised that I was able to sing along to most of the songs with the rest of the crowd. Such is Rein’s pop sensibility; though he uses exotic instruments (most notably the sitar) and is heavily influenced by Indian music, his song writing is so solid and his songs so laden with hooks that one can join in before the first chorus is even half way through. Upon closer listening though, OMR use a lot of interesting harmonics and breakdowns and I get the impression that I’ll need to a) buy the album, and b) have it on loop on my Ipod for a while to fully appreciate the songs with all their layers and carefully placed interludes.

Perhaps the best thing about the gig was all the infectious smiling going on. The songs are so uplifting, the harmonies so delicious, and the band members themselves clearly love what they do, so I suppose everyone couldn't help beaming at each other, at the band, and then at each other again. Apart from the distraction of the drunken twits ballroom dancing (wtf??) in front of the stage, I was completely wrapped up in OMR’s utterly delightful sing-a-long, and was quite disappointed when it ended. I shall now download the album and continue karaoke-styles in my bedroom . . .