2nd April, 2022
Writing is made a pleasure with gigs by artists like Sunflower Bean. The Famous Stereo venue down Renfield lane in Glasgow hosted this 2nd April early spring coming together of all kinds of live songs. The whole experience is owed to very hard working people putting on shows but not every gig will pick you up and spin you round as Sunflower did dressed in capable rocking leather clothing.
This gig was my introduction to the American trio’s UK tour 2022. So to a slowly filling room the first act played some melodic music mixed with loud guitar, and consisted of a two woman duo. They were enthralling in their interplay sharing lead vocals with confidence and ease. The evening was already set to be special as it was a preview to Sunflower’s wider 2022 tour.
Sunflower have a new album coming out in May called “Headful of Sugar” an album that is to be an attempt (succeeding) to take New York culture by the chin and actually sing about sore or hard issues in its contemporary times by exploding into the music world. The new album had come together for the band, their studio and Electric lady (Jimi Hendrix) studios, in New York where things are kicking off for their major tour this year.
Lime Garden took to the stage for what felt like a big invitation to enjoy ourselves. They were very impressive on all their skilful levels not least saying precisely what they want and how they want to. They were really into retro aggressive styles and strong outgoing personalities. Making us in the crowd start to stir and immerse ourselves in the reality of wonderful music and greatly felt and admirable presentation.
The room (a nice space) began to assemble to experience music that would lead into a list of very well placed, entertaining in the fulfilling grip held by Sunflowers growing presence on stage. This essential grip was absorbed in the heartiest, warmest and most welcome reception from obviously diehard fans. The band is committed in their desire to make you scream or play or fight or simply to retrieve yourself from heart break, all very thoughtful and inclusive.
With their new album all but in the shops the songs they played were of both old and brand new. Taking to the stage the bands intimacy held by their personalities filled the whole room and were as though filling life itself. Impressively intense yet relaxed the expansion was strong and wonderfully rooted. The energy put into the show to delve and confront yet it held a loving care for wide ranging subjects and we saw a compelling importance behind it all of having great fun. The room had filled and bodies were jiving and heads were bobbing.
They had what I can only call an impact, with Nick Kivlen’s guitar solos wildly infusing the loud drum, Olive Faber, and deeply booming bass, lead vocalist Julia Cumming. In a testament to Glasgow this small in numbers gig partied in intimacy and universality.
But this was new music, new and freshly inserted into modern culture both pure and broken down. Holding open a page where the lyrics had the effects of modern life in New York waved not a grim face but instead the night struck the chords of celebration, confidence and bounding faith for their fans and followers. The evening kicked its graces from rock, punk, and alternative Indie music but with a message strong and powerful in an almost unbelievable attack against keeping quite.
Sunflower Bean have a pulsing significance in many ways not least being part of sheer quality in the talents of new and uprising music. Their accomplished work both support the music world and also kicks in its doors and dares it to make better and more powerful stance.
Filled with a fit insight that the wide spread problem of money being harder and harder to come by through work, “Roll the Dice” (an acclaimed Sunflower song) offers a punchy alternative in the idea that attitude itself might be harnessed as a means of taking back control of our own capacity to recreate riches more than enough to live on.
We may thank such ideas brought to us by a most charming New York band that seemed to have love and expression that was a marvel to see. Had a great time, back in a live event, was blown over by this spectacle we could all do with having more of.