When my good friend, Olivier over at Sleaze Roxx asked me if I was interested in trekking to Buffalo to catch Spiders a while back, I automatically answered YES! I answered even though I couldn’t name one song from Spiders, but something triggered me way back in the deep recesses of my feeble brain.
As the show drew nearer I spun the Why Don’t You EP a few times as preparation. What a great disc, although, unfortunately only three songs in length. “Why Don’t You” that could almost be believed as a rockin’ ABBA cover due to it’s 70’s funk and groove, what a great track! The harder rockin’ “Watch Out” and more 70’s infusion with “In a Room”.
Something still nagged at me from the corners of my head (dark corners where spiders might hide?). Then, akin to someone flipping the switch and the electrical juice flowing through the wires to the light bulb, it came to me. I was familiar with Spiders, although it had been quite some time. During my awesome first adventure to the Sweden Rock Festival in 2013, I scoured the festival’s website, clicking on video samples of all of the 90 or so bands, (many of which were unfamiliar to me) to help identify which acts I would be trying to catch as I drunkenly wandered my way around this massive festival in a foreign country for the first time. Spiders had been one of those bands and I had purchased their debut album, Flash Point, from Amazon (I think) as a download version in the few days leading up to my departure. I only listened to about half of Flash Point as unfortunately there was some kind of error during the download and I received only half of Spiders Flash Point. The first four songs were another Swedish band, The Scams. Although I seriously liked what I had heard, the error rather ruined the playback experience for me and unfortunately after the trip, my half of Flash Point would get buried in my computer and forgotten, never to be played again.
A road trip is a good part of the fun, although it’s usually much, much better when the car that you’re travelling in has a working radio! Just sayin’ man. That aside, arriving in Buffalo with some time to spare we hit up a nearby Starbucks for the free internet and spent a few minutes giving each other advice on our respective websites. Under the impression that Spiders would be coming on at 8pm, we entered the venue shortly before 8 to discover that they had already been on for about 5 minutes!
We rushed to the stage front for which there were a few in attendance, great to see the support! Toes were instantly tapping to the Spiders funk and swagger and by the time we got to our third song, “Hard Times” vocalist Ann-Sophie Hoyles was engaging in some spasmodic, chaotic, gyrating dance moves around the stage. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another awesome little Toronto band that unfortunately is no longer with J’nai and frontwoman Jeanette Ricasio. A real stomper of a track followed as we settled in and I had a chance to look around briefly at the venue. Very cool place with a sunken floor and a couple of different balcony-type levels surrounding it. Hard to imagine that there would be a poor vantage point anywhere in here, even for a vertically challenged short guy such as myself. “Give Up the Fight” saw Ann-Sophie with a guitar and I couldn’t help but think that I’d heard a couple of bands lately that are emulating the 70’s sound, but they just can’t seem to really pull it off. Let me tell you, Spiders can! Bassist Olle Griphammer with his feather shoulder pieces and platform boots helped, but it’s more than the stage image, it’s the swagger and attitude in the songs. The on-stage energy of these young Swedes is also unbelievable. Ann-Sophie announced that it was now time for her favorite Spiders song with “Why Don’t You”, followed by “War of the Worlds” which would serve as the final song for Spiders set.
Unfortunately, we only caught about 7 or 8 songs due to our lateness, but what an awesome set! A great band recorded, but seeing these young Swedes in their first time on North American soil has to be experienced live to really grasp them I think.
After the show, we ventured over to the merch table for a brief chat with Olle and John Hoyles (guitar) during which I purchased their 2014 issue, Shake Electric (I would have acquired Flash Point as well, had they had it available). Shake Electric has been on repeat now for the few days since the show and will most likely be making the trip with me on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. It’s hard to get enough of this disc! Check out Spiders at your earliest opportunity!