Sudbury’s Pistol George Warren took over The Horseshoe Tavern with locals Stan Simon & The Hotel Bible, Meanwood and Beans, to celebrate the release of their newest album Oceapur 9. The evening was filled with cowboy boots, swearing and plenty of excitement. It’s rather captivating when the opening bands only put, but also consume it for the time they’re up, making you forget who you came to see in the first place.
Doing just that was Stan Simon & The Hotel Bible. They began the show by showing what Western from hell sounds like. Haunting may be the only way to describe them; emotion bleeds from Simon’s finger tips to the soulful harmonica laced at his mouth. The ominous tone captivated the audience until the last note struck and the appraisal brought humbling smiles to the band. With dark lyrics and lingering menacing vocals laced into the sound, Stan Simon knows how to scare the hell out of you and make you love it.
Next up, a tiny little thing with the voice of a whisky-drinking angel took the stage in cowboy boots and a look that promised trouble. The show stealers took on the Horseshoe with arm tattooed arms.
“I’d have some banter for the crowd, but I always get in trouble by the band for saying something inappropriate,” singer Viktoria Belle said. So instead of talking, Belle whipped her hair, pealed off her jacket mid-set and groaned on the floor. In short, Meanwood destroyed the Horseshoe. If you don’t know their name before, you sure won’t forget it afterwards. Meanwood is the band to watch, it takes one song and you’re entrapped in their world which is a dark collection of rock, blues and heavy 60’s influence. Belting out a sweetly, sinful raspy voice, Belle performs with her all. The girl is a rock star waiting to be discovered.
Helping audience’s calm from the excitement, Beams played their mix of country-folk that was for a specific musical taste. Their sound was rounded, and their songs were well rehearsed, but their set lay a tad too run of the mill. Taking time to enjoy their big debut, Pistol George Warren didn’t lack energy as they played venue. The eight-member set filled up the stage with four singers dancing about in the small spaces left between bodies, instruments and microphones. The entire band was more of a focus than their music. Their sound is 70’s funk heard mainly in the guitar, rock, and an underlying country-tone from their choice of their backup vocals and the members were dressed as if from each genre all at once. With a futuristic-retro-modern personas and some more stuff going on in the back, they put on a show, but they were more memorable than anything they played.