Sion – The Hob, Staines – 11 Feb 2010
Delicate folds of sound swathe majestically across the shimmering songs of Sion. At the Hob, Staines last Sunday this attractive looking and luscious sounding Hampshire band brought us their brand new song ‘Storms’- with a finely finger picked intro that organically weaves through a sea of images and a gentle oscillating motion of sound that leads on to a golden crescendo of waves – adorned with the melodious voice of lead-singer AK.
Sion offers delightful scenery and a profusion of sound, as colours wash gently through a landscape dominated by glittering gold and sparkling silver. Their work sounds optimistic – confident and joyful. Maybe tinged with sadness, at times, but never melancholy or opaque.
Take for example the new single ‘shoulder to shoulder’. Even if the lines are drawn in quite a melodramatic style- there is enough movement within the song for you to nod your head – in fact dance if you want to – but the tears will still be sweet and the highborn vocals curse you as they weave through the melody whilst the deft percussion from Birdy provides gently persuasive and driving rhythm to the whole piece. Sparkly guitars from Ruggers and Bowman provide counterpoints and ingenious focus to the whole composition.
Other songs from this quintet have a more defined rock atmosphere with driving percussion and translucent uplifting choruses – reminding me of big melody groups like ‘The Tripwires.’ A favourite Sion number is ‘Drifting Away’ with its polished atmospheric guitars and relentless vocals. The sounds are often quite progressive in nature - as if tinged with virtuosity -like a softer ‘Porcupine Tree’ yet equally sweet and gentle. But the Sion sounds don’t have the discord or dissonance associated with groups like ‘Oceansize’.
Sion have received radio play on Radio 1, XFM, BBC 6 Music and Kerrang! Radio, among others, and have ably supported bands such as Foals, JR Ewing and QOTSA – so it’s no wonder that their show on stage in The Hob, Staines is professionally slick, perfectly pitched and well managed. This lot look good, sound good, feel good and – my word – they do you good. If you like folded picture-perfect scenes of sensuality and sensitivity in your music, with hidden layers of depth and frothy sound, then Sion is for you.
So snuggle up, kick of your shoes, relax and have fun. The music these guys are playing is guaranteed to warm your cockles gently.