Johannesburg thrash folk come indie rock band Shortstraw played a superb set at The Louisiana last Thursday. Described as a ‘song band,’ they create an eclectic mix of crowd pleasers, mood revivers, ridiculously humorous songs like ‘Lysagfy’, love songs and the type of songs that make you want to dance in the sunshine in the middle of the afternoon. Perhaps this can be attributed to their collaborative writing process which enables every member of the band to be connected to the song, or perhaps it's in their inherent passion for their music. When they get on stage there isn’t an audience member without a smile on their face.
The band play a mixture of the classics which has everyone singing along, and some of the tracks from the last two albums including ‘Say Anything’ ‘OMG’ and TMK’s “Bowsie,’ a track alive with an assortment of guitar riffs that are almost hypnotic. Although The Louisiana is a small dark room, (Al’s favourite sort of show to play for its intimacy and connection to his audience), the band fill the whole room with their infectious energy. Albeit due to Al’s quirky sense of humour (he introduces ‘Keanu Reeves as a ‘love song’) and his charismatic, husky singing voice, or Tom’s success in playing a guitar solo whilst Al holds his beer for him to down, or right down to the tongue in cheek lyrics of 2011 anthem ‘Good Morning Sunshine’ with its chorus of ‘Your such a bitch in the morning’ or new hit single ’T-shirt’ that declares ‘I only miss you on a Sunday afternoon’ or maybe its the fact that Shortstraw just never get boring. But whatever you want to attribute it to, here is a band that as a combined force, have everything going for them. They have big ideas, big tunes, a big tolerance for alcohol and an unparalleled sense of how to have fun.
Review by Ty Bennett