City Slang: Ronny Tibbs & the 305’s at the Lager House
Six and the Sevens is an odd band. Musically, they have so much going for them; super-catchy tunes, killer riffs, athemic, clap-along choruses and basically all round great musicianship. There’s just something about the way the guys carry themselves that isn’t totally familiar to rock show attendees. It’s like these adults are in a school band, not really knowing how to interact with the crowd between songs and filled with overtly nervous energy. Having said that, the complete lack of pretension, and the fact that the guys enjoy themselves on stage so much, is refreshing. And, again, the hooks are huge.
It kills me to say it, but out-of-towners Bend Sinister, from Vancouver, British Columbia, were the band of the night. These guys are just ridiculously good, taking elements from all of the greatest things about the 1970s. They look like stoner-hippies, and there is some of that in the sound, sure. But there’s also a lot of Queen (the early years), plus dashes of ELP prog and Led Zep classic rock. The songs are incredibly dynamic, switching direction in a heartbeat (like Queen), but never sounding patchwork. The Lager House wasn’t full, but those that were there were really digging it. PJ and his wife Donna are converts, for sure.
Ronny Tibbs & the 305’s topped off the night. The Canadians proved a tough act to follow – it’s always difficult for a sound with a simple rock ’n’ roll sound to play after a dense, full hard rock band, but fuck it, Tibbs knows what he’s doing at this point. He even kicks off with a slower song, a brave move but it was a line in the sand that the show needed. George Morris should be given more credit for his abilities as a drummer – he might generally keep his head down but there’s a touch of the Keith Moon wild man in there. These songs don’t call for big hitting though, just meat and potatoes time-keeping (harder than it sounds). Jessica Wildman is the perfect side-person for Tibbs. The harmonies, the bass-lines – Wildman adds the beef to the set. Tibbs like to sway his hips, which is very entertaining indeed. The songs are there to back it up, thankfully. The old school rock ’n’ roll is very different to what he used to play in the Satin Peaches, despite the presence of Morris. Sometimes, those wings need stretching.