Bunker’s – July 23, 2002
by Melanie MacInnis
In a bar scene in which watering holes of the small, intimate variety dominate, there are two types of shows, the ones that are so loud you can’t here yourself think, and the ones that are so loud you can’t here yourself think, and YOU DON”T CARE. At these shows, the band is so good, you want to feel the sound blasting out your eardrums, pounding in your chest, and heating up the room. We were treated to a band of the second sort, Siobhan, at Bunkers on July 23.
The band kicked things off a little after ten, all six (six!) band members providing a ripping introduction to their own brand of punked-up Celtic rock. Frontmen Jimmy and Gimpy traded quips with the crowd and shared some of their adventures on the long ride to the east coast from Ottawa, like trying to order a meatball sub in Quebec, and the 8-hour beerless stretch. Then there was the one about the outdoor jam session in Mabou.
Siobhan mixed some familiar tunes with a harsher, more driving beat than we generally hear –their version of a well-known Rankin’s tune was a pleasant surprise – and showcased several original pieces from their two CDs. ‘I got drunk in Europe’ is officially a new crowd favorite. They are a tight group, several band members switching instruments through the show, as well as helping out with vocals. The fiddler’s job was seriously cut out for him– the crowd kept yelling for faster and faster songs, and he delivered big-time. A piece that combined Pachelbel’s Canon and Hava Nagila had the audience waiting for the bow to burst into flame.
Siobhan can brag of one uniquely Sydney accomplishment: the band from Ontario had a noise compliant after three songs. The windows and doors at Bunkers closed, the heat and humidity climbed, and not one person left.
Following the show here, Siobhan were off to play some dates in Newfoundland, and are hoping to return to crowds that really get their music. The crowds in Ontario can’t possibly hope to match the energy and enthusiasm from the small-but-vocal crowd at Bunkers that night. For a preview of their tunes, and some more info on the band, check out their website, www.siobhan.ca –an impressive site for a group that’s full of surprises.