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   Monday, April 15, 2002  
To the Borderline Friday for the second of Marah's three dates. First, the good news: Sahara Hotnights. This Swedish female four-piece opened the show, thrashing out some pulverising riffage - actually, 'thrashed' isn't quite fair to their tight, no-nonsense delivery. Less garage-y, more metal than compatriots The Hives, they're not doing anything new but they certainly grab your attention while they're doing it. Worth another look. Which, alas, reallyrather fears Marah might not be, at least for the foreseable future. Story so far: critically aclaimed roots-soul rockers Dave & Serge Bielanko (plus interchangeable rhythm sections) attempt to spring from the impoverished Americana bins to the Top40 airplay racks in one bound (a la Ryan Adams) via shiny, big-money new album Float away with the Friday night gods with, seemingly, nary a care whether they bring their existing fanbase with them. Can the dynamic duo pull it off, we wondered? Er, not really. OK, this was the first time most of the crowd had heard much of the set - only Catfisherman blues and My heart is the bums on the streets of their earlier stuff got a run out (plus Reservation girl at the end) - but the simplistic, blue-eyed riff-rock anthems already sounded a bit stale. reallyrather was reminded on more than one occasion of those t-shirts that appeared at around the time of the Gallaghers' All around the world bearing the word "Quoasis". A few of the songs had a fairly instant appeal but often outstayed their welcome, and rather too many were bloated out into rock-jam farragoes. Dave's great raspy voice retains its character but if the band's trajectory is anything to go by, it's an endangered species. The band did genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves but have some convincing to do judged by the encore applause which was perfunctory at best. (BTW, have VirginRadio scooped the rest with their airing of Crying on an airplane last night?)...
   posted by SMc at 5:57 AM |