May 20, 2024

sir Was – gig review – Warm. Friendly. Nice.

Live at Headrow House    20th November 2019

It’s good to try new things and go to gigs where you aren’t that familiar with the artist. I figured sir Was would have to be different to the carefully produced releases and would be interesting, thanks to a certain bright-eyed intelligence in those records. Headrow House is not a very ‘lagom’ venue (that’s the Swedish equivalent of ‘hygge’) but sir Was did his best to bring a laconic friendliness to the gig.

As expected, the gig had less of a head-bobbing deep beat sound to it and was a pleasant mix of dance-pop, quiet songs and the odd stormer. There were a few funky grooves and some excellent drumming. Sadly, it was keyboard bass but the guitar made up for it. With a superb lead guitarist, delightful fills and embellishments rang clear with added colour and gloss. Even better; now and again sir Was freed himself from rhythm guitar duties and the two guitars duetted, making some great sounds and leaving me wanting even more guitar. But too much of anything wouldn’t be sir Was’ way; he seemed to be aiming for the perfect balance between song, tune, groove, pop and action.

Joel Wastberg is the man behind sir Was and he’s a multi-instrumentalist with a personal vision. We were treated to gentle, dry, unassuming Swedish humour that brought a wry laugh to the lips of the audience: “It’s very nice to be here. Like last time. Nice.” The songs themselves were unobtrusive, popping along nicely from a nice man with a nice band.

The gig tonight was a lesson in how to translate studio-based work into an effective live experience. Nice.

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