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The Sleepy Jackson - Astoria, October 7, 2003


Review: Heather Metherell

THE Sleepy Jackson’s gig at the Astoria, on Tuesday, October 7, made it all too clear that they are a band at their best in the safety of a recording studio.

As a fan of their fabulous ‘Lovers’ album, the overbearing, artificial melodrama of the performance was a disappointment and a distraction from what should have been an hour or so of great music.

Lead singer and songwriter of the ‘Sleepys’, Luke Steele, looked uncomfortable and unhappy with his place in the spotlight, not what you would expect from a man whose stage presence has been described as a mix between ‘Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon’.

The high, almost feminine vocals that feature regularly on ‘Lovers’ were barely audible when performed live, which made it sound like the band humming was along to a backing track.

That said, it is clear that The Sleepy Jackson have produced a few great tracks, and their hazy pop had everyone dancing away throughout the gig. Miniskirt came across well live, and the current single, Good Dancers, was a real crowd pleaser.

One thing The Sleepy Jackson has done though, is pick a quality support act, in the shape of The Delays.

If you can ignore the preposterous pouting of keyboard player, Aaron Gilbert, for long enough, you may just come to love the Southampton born band.

There is an innocent quality to their music that will take you back to the sweet, jingle-jangle melodies of 60s American pop.

Greg Gilbert sings in an impressive falsetto, shown off to the full in their latest single ‘Nearer than Heaven’, which helps make their music an interesting and refreshing change from the dirges being growled out into the charts by the likes of Nickleback.

Although it is always great to see good support, it is not so good when fans leave a gig preferring them to the main act.

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