Having not really ever listened to The Sounds before - after sampling a few brief snippets of their songs on myspace and browsing through their live pictures, I assumed that they were perhaps a band who were probably better live than on a record. I suppose that assumption was correct. It's good to go into a gig open minded with not much expectation of the performance ahead - overall it probably gives you a far better analytical perspective of the performance as a whole.
The Sounds are a New wave/punk Swedish band lead by dynamic lead singer Maja Ivarsson. Their sound is heavily set with the essence of electronic lead styles, depending greatly on synthesizers. Maja Invarsson has a stage presence not dissimilar to Debbie Harry both in vocality and physical performance. They stormed the stage with the opening number Living in America to a rapturous reception setting the tone for the rest of the gig.
Maja Invarsson moves well round the stage and is keen to encourage a lot of crowd participation. The band as a whole are very well accustomed to attacking each number with every member sharing the vocals. As a result of this the band have multi-harmonious range when performing, sounded more like a group chant than a chorus line. Their songs sound fairly electro-inspired although there is something in their delivery overall that seems to run its twinkly keyboard tones over a kind of Euro pop sound. In fact the band share the lime light for the majority of their songs - so much so that Maja for a long interlude leaves the stage in the hands Pianist/keyboard player Jesper Anderberg and guitarist Felix Rodriguez where they proceeded to have a showdown improvisation session.
Overall their performance was pretty riveting; the group are impressive both as performers and have an excellent repartee with their audience. Their support acts deserve a mention too. Dragonette in particular were fantastic to watch - their music sounded like an electro-based No Doubt but with much better songs. Indeed with The Sounds themselves and their support acts the night's performance was generally a great musical experience.
Concert date 27 August 2007
© Lauren Quinn. 29 August 2007. First published on www.edinburghguide.com.