Swale Thursday October 1, 2009 At The Monkey House

Words by Tim Lewis.

The night was cool and rainy. I had tentative plans to meet Nathan and go see Swale, La Strada and Polite Sleeper. Nathan called early in the evening saying he was going out with friends and would not make it. As I was getting ready, Mike said he was heading to Cumberland Farms so I caught a ride with him and walked the rest of the way.

The light rain was no deterrent as I was psyched to see Swale again, and catch some new music.

They were setting up as I walked in, but I was surprised that there was no one taking money at the door. I settled in and chatted with Paddy Reagan for a while. Apparently neither of the other bands showed so it was all about Swale.

It took a while for them to get set up. I chatted with Amanda for a bit, but soon after she headed to the stage, sat at the keys, and started playing a song about the ocean. As she finished she invited Eric and Jeremy to the stage and the show was on. They exuded sensual warmth as the slow elegant music weaved its way through the mostly empty club. The second song again began slow, then stopped for a moment in the middle, before coming back swinging in full rock and roll glory. Ah, there’s the band I love!

They casually weaved their way through their set. The small audience came and went, with a general trend of the eight or so people at the beginning, diminishing to three by the end. The increased intimacy brought band and audience into a very open space, where requests were played, whether made by audience or band. Water landing and Cancer were requested and played. Amanda wanted the Ink Spots, so they played I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.

The casual pace stayed until they jammed out a rocking instrumental and then realized they were done. As I prepared to leave I reflected on the intimate portrait of the band painted onstage last night. It’s not often you get to look that far into the creative process of a band. But in that playing out but barely playing out scenario, sometimes something special can happen. It certainly did last night. Too bad hardly anyone was there to appreciate it. Hopefully more people will show up to their show at JDK designs when they play tonight at 8.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.