Sons and Daughters – Leadmill, Sheffield – 7/2/08 – Live Review

It comes as no surprise that Sons & Daughters are still chasing the acclaim that they duly deserve as bastions of rock and roll’s fidelity, especially in an age when applying prefixes such as “new-” to any genre is as receptive as the next pliable and celebrity endorsed Top Shop range that follows suit.

As the Scottish quartet front the small stage there is already a sense of intimacy that engulfs the air; the crowd may be as meagre as the band’s platform, but their understanding and overwhelming connection with the defenders of a seemingly lost foundation and art is felt.

Sons & Daughters’ live sound on the one hand is raw and emancipated: Adele Bethel’s vocal inflections and harmonious gesticulations with the blues inspired idiosyncrasies of guitarist Scott Paterson makes for an unfettered touch; however, it is the austere of an unrelenting and pulsating rhythm section that rounds off their performance with backbone.

A tumultuous performance is instilled upon the night with the band showcasing picks from their albums ‘Love The Cup’, ‘The Repulsion Box’ and new release ‘This Gift’. Each track floats with its own dark volition: “Hunt” and “Broken Bones” build and break with the honesty of a drunken couple’s argument to the sound of The Kills and 22-20s wigging-out, whereas “Medicine” and “Dance Me In” crackle with a vintage pop dexterity. But its Scott Paterson’s scuffling guitar, and haunting vocals as an ode, upon “Johnny Cash” that rumbles at a pace of Iggy Pop and the Stooges rampaging through heroin-impoverished Glasgow looking for a fix that dilates the pupils of those transfixed.

With open ears, Sons and Daughters are well orchestrated and underrated; but with open eyes Adele Bethel’s endearing Scottish charm soon wears to a desperate drama schoolgirl’s need for centre stage, whereas conversely bass player Ailidh Lennon appeared stricken with rigor mortis. If only we lived in a time when the music sufficed.


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