4/16/15 – Royale

If you closed your eyes, you could easily imagine yourself on a private beach or around a campfire with good friends. Current Swell’s music is feel-good, summertime rock, made for outdoor concerts. Though the band had no problem filling Royale nightclub with their brand of indie rock, they would seem to be a better fit for a smaller, less posh venue. Slide guitar and chandeliers, who knew? Of course, as opening act for world-touring Cat Empire, they’ll take it.

Current Swell lead singer and guitarist Scott Stanton wore a jean jacket and a grey baseball cap—a fittingly country ensemble for someone who bends melodies on the slide guitar. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Lang wore a plaid shirt and added howling harmonica like a lonely wolf to the moon.

In the middle of the set a monstrous drum solo gave way to a softer, solo guitar section—the transition breaking hard like a wave on the side of an island. The force was there, the gentle landing was not.

Harmonies throughout the set wavered—sometimes layered smoothly like jelly on white bread, at other times rough around the edges. Current Swell doesn’t play the kind of music that requires right-angle harmonies. An occasional waver almost added to the authenticity of the vocals, but there were perhaps a few too many flat notes. Nonetheless, crowd members nodded their heads and cheered after each song.

Near the end of the set, the group played “Who’s With Us” as a tribute to fans for supporting the band year after year. (They’ve been at it for about 10 years now.) Clapping started more quickly than a pile of charcoal briquettes soaked in lighter fluid. The crowd was ready for Cat Empire to take the stage and get the dance party started.

Harmonica Howl: Current Swell
Pros
  • Slide guitar stung
  • Harmonica howled
Cons
  • Harmonies need work
  • Transitions from loud to soft were abrupt
7Harmonica Howl

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