Show Review: Slow Claw and The Tenant

by Jack Diablo

Venue: The Sinclair
Date: September 13, 2009
Trying to establish a new regular night of music at a venue still in its infancy seems like a daunting task that would deter even the most daring of performers. But Lisa Thomas is nothing if not just that. Lisa has assumed booking responsibilities at the Sinclair, Jacksonville’s newest destination for live music on Sunday nights.
I for one have never been disappointed by a show that she recommend I attend and I have it on good authority that she takes excellent care of the bands she brings through town. But convincing Jacksonvillians to change their nightly routine is like trying to get a leopard to change its spots. Scratch that, because I am convinced that it will happen sooner or later if acts on par with the quality that appeared on September 13th continue to come through town.
Even though the attendance was modest at this particular the show, Nashville, TN’s Slow Claw and Orlando’s the Tenant certainly turned a few heads during their performances.
The Tenant features Brad Register, formerly of Summerbirds in the Cellar, who started the band in the aftermath of Summerbirds’ break-up. The tour with Slow Claw is their first one together yet already they have settled into a tight live routine, the likes of which takes most bands months if not years to master. They only played a four song set which served as a short but sweet taste of what the Tenant has to offer.
Slow Claw ended up being a lot more rocking than what I was anticipating. The band may look like a Fleet Foxes cover band with their exceptionally-groomed facial hair and wearing Tom’s Shoes on their feet, but their music is less of the mountains and more rooted in the everyday. I did have a little trouble deciding which was cooler, the bass player’s fantastic handle-bar mustache or his massive Rickenbacker guitar. The drummer was one of the most animated percussionists I’ve seen in some time and incredibly talented to boot. There’s just something about the way the band’s image is displayed on their MySpace page that doesn’t do their live show justice. Briefly checking out their info and a sampling of their music had me convinced this show would require a bar stool so I was shocked at how much louder it was than anticipated. Another instance of expecting little and being pleasantly surprised.
I strongly recommend making an effort to find yourself at the Sinclair on Sunday nights for some new live music. You may not have heard of some of the bands before but that’s only because they haven’t had the chance to make it big. Yet. Go see these bands before you have to spend good money to see them. Consider it a recession-buster if you have to.