The Sleepy Jackson

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The Sleepy Jackson with support from The Hidden Cameras @ Liverpool Barfly: 14/05/03

The Sleepy Jackson

Support from The Hidden Cameras

Liverpool Barfly: 14/05/03

Rarely will you see a support act that has had more attention from the critics than the main attraction, but then again, there hasn’t been a band like ‘The Hidden Cameras’ around for some time. It was a watered down line up of six, as oppose to fourteen, and no Go Go Dancers tonight, but it was still going to be no ordinary show as the slow opening Organ introduction song “Golden Streams” about piss sex trickled into the audience’s minds. The place was catching the infectious happiness exuded by the Canadian sextet.

The crowd looked somewhat bemused as the colourful “Music is my boyfriend” resonated around the small and compact venue. The proud homosexual lyrics of the first two songs smacked them in the face, whilst the cheery and colourful music seemed to give them a towel to nullify the impact. The diversity of the Hidden Cameras was borne out in the abstract song “Heavy Flow Of Evil”, in which Joel in his inimitable way tells us a strange tale:

“Feed into their mouth a cake we baked with help from:

heavy flow, heavy flow of evil”.

The Sleepy Jackson @
The Sleepy Jackson  @

The crowd were starting to warm to captivating Canadians at this point as they were invited to get “Intimate” with the band. After this the bright and cheery (in an luminous yellow dress) Maggie Macdonald invited the audience to dance, seeing as they had just been intimate with the band she pleaded for the shyness to disappear. Front man Joel Gibb left most of the talking to Maggie who introduced the songs. The moat of space at the front of the room between the crowd and the band, was filled with spectators and exuberant band members as popular songs like “Ban Marriage” and “Breathe on it” won the audience over.

Not many bands would like to be blessed with the task of following the Hidden Cameras. The Sleepy Jackson, are rarely out done when it comes to being interesting, with their line up changing more times than Sven’s England. The only ever present in the band is front man Luke Steele, his perfectionist nature sees them regularly in the music press. It is not until you see them live that you realise just how much about the music Luke Steele is. His fun nature was there for all to see when he continues singing some of the songs cappella style after the music has stopped.

The band opened by playing four tracks that more or less roll into one. The eccentric ‘Electro’ kicked things off. This song consisted of pre-recorded electronic blasts with the only vocals being that of a football commentator repeatedly saying

“Deportivo, he’s never taken a penalty before.”

In contrast, the slow nostalgic “Old Dirt Farmer” followed. The set list was an impressive 20 plus songs long, not bad for a band that has only released an eight track mini album and is going through a transitional period.

The band would hop between rock and country like a confused kangaroo with “Good Dancers” and “ Acid Rain In My Heart” being examples of the former, with the well known “ Miniskirt “ and the mournful “ Love you no more”, which had several people wiping their eyes after hearing the lyrics:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again,

I don’t know if I love you no more “

They also took the time to play a few cheesey samplers to pass the time while they overcame technical problems. All in all, this was a very impressive set and you get the feeling Luke and the guys are merely warming up.

David Adair