Small turnout doesn't affect intensity at band's winter tour wrap-up
Bedouin Soundclash's lead singer Jay Malinowski belts out a tune at the Majestic Theatre in St. John's Saturday. Photo by Justin Brake/Special to The Telegram
On Saturday night Ontario rock-reggae trio Bedouin Soundclash executed their much anticipated return to Newfoundland to wrap up the North American leg of their winter tour.
From here, they continue on to the South Pacific where they will land in late summer Australian temperatures to play the country's biggest outdoor music festival.
On this night in St. John's, though, it was cold and wet outdoors. Inside the Majestic Theatre it was hot and, well, wet too. It was a sweaty affair, due in part to local opening act The Idlers, who primed the crowd of about 300. From the first note to the last, the dancing never subsided during The Idlers' set.
It was hard to imagine how the intensity could be picked up, but Bedouin was greeted quite warmly, a response which seemed to support singer Jay Malinowski's confidence when the band launched into their latest single, "Saint Andrews."
Touring in support of its third record, last year's "Street Gospels," it might have been expected that the band would heavily favour newer material, but the show was more like a shuffled playlist of tracks from Gospels and their 2004 breakthrough album "Sounding a Mosaic."
Early inclusions in the set were "Bells Of 59," "Rude Boy Don't Cry," and "Back To The Matter," the latter being the only performance from the band's debut album, 2001's "Root Fire."
Crowd interaction was minimal on Malinowski's part, aside from a story about the band's George Street Festival experience-and neither bassist Eon Sinclair nor drummer Pat Pengelly uttered a word all night. "If we're not playing, we'll be there anyway," Malinowski told the audience, referring to the next George Street Festival.
The band's two most recognized numbers, "Walls Fall Down" and "When The Night Feels My Song," were saved for the end of the set, as was a cover of the Clash's "Rudie Can't Wait," which was finely executed, the punk aspect and all.
Considering Bedouin is on its way to play Oz's Roots and Blues Festival, a few festivals in Europe, and then to Texas to join up with the Vans Warped Tour, the less-than-packed Majestic turnout was somewhat disappointing.
No doubt those in attendance were appreciative of the band's St. John's stop, but with growing worldwide demand for the trio, club shows are going to have to sell out to garner future consideration.
Let's hope the band stands by Malinowski's vow to return. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge George Street Festival organizers.