The curious setting of Smithfield’s Space54, a community, workshop and exhibition centre, was given over for the night to a BYOB party, appropriate given the party atmosphere of much of Dan Sartain’s music. A small crowd gathered for this evening’s gig, some of whom knew nothing of him, others devotedly aware of his back catalogue.
The gangly frame of the lead singer and guitarist, complete with well oiled, quiffed hair and permanent sunglasses, looked like a slim Elvis on speed. The dirty gritty bass line running through all the electric tracks was exhilarating, but early on the shindig’s ambience played second fiddle to an air of catch up; starting late the trio (Sartian, bassist and drummer) appeared to be racing through his set like men on a mission.
Storming on with what may yet become an anthem -I Don’t Wanna Go To The Party’, this was followed by nearly all the strong tracks from Lives, including the main single -Atheist Funeral’. They blistered their way through tracks from the as yet unreleased album including -Yes Men’ and -Voodoo’, which seemed naÃ¯ve given that it isn’t generally available yet. However, after a slight interval (or was that a staged encore of sorts?) Sartain returned more relaxed for a couple of acoustic songs.
The intimacy of the crowd nearly hanging over him when he was alone on stage with just an acoustic guitar gave an intense, claustrophobic, but immensely satisfying moment. The innate intimate frailty of -The World Is Gonna Break Your Little Heart’ was shattering live. The trio then regrouped for a few more gritty numbers, including the thumping -P.C.B. 98′. Overall, it was a great evening and a celebration of some good time rock -n’ roll party music, given an added depth by Sartain’s acoustic interlude.
Image and video by Trig Films.