I once said – rather honestly, I’d like to think – that saxophone was a prank that the devil had played on the human race, and we’ve yet to get the joke. From that day to this, it seems that the brass instrument has been trying to get its own back.
A close friend, and the artist responsible for the forthcoming Too Many Fireworks release, Jón Þór, released his debut album in, I think, 2012. A shining example of indie-pop/indie-rock, the album contained the storming “Uppvakningar” which, around the 2:20 mark, includes a sax solo that would not sound out of place among the hits of the Boss and the E-Street band; Clarence Clemons would be proud. Damn it, don’t make me like the sax.
In 2013, in the rather muted false start of the return of Too Many Fireworks, we released a great indie-pop record by the poorly named “Plug&Play”. Towards the end of track 4 of that e.p., the aforementioned brass instrument makes an appearance lending the record’s close a feel of a late 80s soho wine-bar; all neon, and chrome. Maybe the sax has my opprobrium, still.
A year later, I found the excellent TV series Bojack Horseman for the first time. The main theme was composed by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, and his uncle Ralph Carney – a noted session musician known for his work with Tom Waits. Wondering what instrument Ralph plays? Oh yes. That said, the theme is astonishing and fits the show perfectly. Damn you, Adolphe!
It wasn’t long after that, that Mateusz Franczak approached me at a record fair with his beautiful album “long story short”, and would I like to release it on Too Many Fireworks? On hearing it, my first reaction was “yes sir, yes I would”. It was only later that I discovered Mateusz was particularly well known on the Polish scene for playing… well yes, if you guessed saxophone, you get to move to the top of the class. Gold star.
As you may imagine, by this time my distaste for the saxophone has softened to a great degree and last night, I wandered down to CH25 for a performance by the Ukranian band H.Soror. An astonishing drummer, a bass player with a mooger-fooger, and… a saxophonist. Oh come on!
The band were fantastic and I feel sympathy for anyone that considered coming down but didn’t. The music is hard to characterise but had subtle elements of math rock and new wave. Oddly enough, if the sax had been replaced by a guitar player, I would have left feeling I had enjoyed it but that I’d seen it numerous times before. The sax added something unexpected and unique to such a line-up – the drummer, though, was my personal highlight; I can’t have sax winning the day after all.
Check out H.Soror on their bandcamp.