Tuesday 11 December 2012

Spiders live at Islington Academy December 06th

Spiders by Paul Slattery

Spiders first ever London show was a resounding success, in fact I can't remember the last time I have seen a support act get such an enthusiastic response and the band were unlucky not to be allowed to play an encore that they richly deserved. Spiders are currently opening for fellow Gothenburg based rock outfit Graveyard on an 18 date European tour that is taking in Holland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria as well as England, Wales and Scotland. The dates coincide with the release of their stunning debut album "Flash Point", which has just been nominated for the P3 Guld Swedish Music Awards in the Rock album of the year category.

Photo by Paul Slattery
The results will be decided in January next year, and I will be popping down the bookies very soon and putting a bet on it winning outright! Their label Crusher Records, seems to be doing a great job promoting the band and the album has had a high profile Japanese release. I can really see the band going down a storm over in Japan if they can get some gigs sorted. Anyway, this was my first time to see Spiders live and they did not disappoint. Vocalist Ann-Sofie is a super-cool pint-sized bundle of energy with an amazing, powerful voice. She plays a mean harmonica too, and adds some tambourine and maracas into the mix as she swirls her hair, and stalks the stage. Of course on the surface Ann-Sofie is the main focal point, but Spiders are a perfect mix of individuals that makes this a really top group in the true essence of the word. The rhythm section of bassist Matteo Gambarcorta and drummer Ricard Harryson lay down a cool groove that underpins John Hoyles' mean and lean guitar playing. Actually, I think it's that rhythm that gives Spiders the edge and made them stand out for me in a genre of music that I am generally not so enthusiastic about. Bassist Matteo swings his Rickenbacker, immersed in the music. After the show he talked to me about his love of Soul music and mentioned that he has played in a band with that master of the Psychedelic groove, Mattias Hellberg.

Spiders by Steve Worrall
Compared to his band-mates, Drummer Ricard looks pretty impassive behind his kit, there's no headache inducing bashing and crashing of cymbals that seems to come with a lot of heavy rock bands. He keeps that crisp and steady beat, more Charlie Watts than Keith Moon. John Hoyles is a really great guitarist, and again why I love Spiders is that there are no unnecessary and excessive guitar noodlings, it's concise and heavy on the catchy riffing. They kick things off with the headlong rush of "Hang Man" and then slam straight into one of the album's highlights, "High Society", it's a breathless start. If like me, you prefer your heavy rock in the vein of the R'n'B groove of early AC/DC or the Punk energy of Motorhead, the power hooks of Cheap Trick or the Glam stomp of Slade, then you will love this band. However, I don't want it to seem that I am reinforcing that "Retro Rock" tag.

Ann-Sofie by Paul Slattery
I must add that Spiders are very much of the now, the sheer quality of their song writing and the energy that they exude both live and from their records, means that they could develop into a classic and timeless band. "Rules of The Game" from the album, is certainly one of my songs of the year and that hasn't even been released as a single, and tonight it sounds awesome. They play the storming single "Weekend Nights", a joyous Runaways style stomper and "Love Me" starts off with a raw bass intro that winds around a stabbing guitar line. The set finishes way too soon with the  brilliant new single "Fraction" and I am pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic reaction from a very happy crowd. I am sure Spiders will be back again very soon, and next time I can pretty much guarantee they will be headlining.

Photo by Paul Slattery
John Hoyles by Steve Worrall
Spiders by Paul Slattery
Don't forget our Retrosonic Podcast Swedish Music Special Edition featuring an interview with Spiders vocalist Ann-Sofie, is still available to listen to or download free at the Retrosonic site.

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