Concert Review: Wooden Shjips, November 7, Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto – A few songs in to Wooden Shjips set at The Horseshoe, I remarked to a friend that it was the best thing I’ve seen since Hawkwind. Now obviously I’ve seen tons of great bands since, many just as good or perhaps even better, but nothing that had quite the same feel as when I caught the space rock masters in France last June.  My friend was equally impressed, albeit less versed in Hawkwind, but my opinion was validated by some random guy outside who made the same comparison.  They share a simlar vibe – spacey, droney, psych heavy tunes full of buzzy riffs that often moved into a driving krautrock-esque groove. 

While a lot of bands of a heavy, psychey ilk can be, well, a bit dull live, that was definitely not the case with Wooden Shjips.  Sure, they don’t actually do a lot  – there was little stage banter and they weren’t exactly jumping around onstage, but that’s fine because the tunes speak for themselves.  And if the songs all have a similar feel, so what?  Bands like AC/DC, Motorhead, and The Ramones made entire careers out of sounding like themselves.

Openers Birds Of Avalon did have more variety in their sound.  Musically, they straddled a lot of lines – there were hints of garage, psych, power pop, ’90s grunge, and at least one riff that wouldn’t be that out of place in a Scorpions song. It was kind of all over the place, but certainly held a lot of promise.  They played a decent set that did make an impression on me, although they didn’t really impress me on the same level as Wooden Shjips.  That said, I’d probably see them again and I will most certainly be checking out Wooden Shjips again if given the chance.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything

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