SLAM Day Special – Ross McLennan
The Famous Spiegeltent | 23 February 2013
It’s hard to describe a musician without also alluding to the ways in which they are ‘like’ someone else, or ‘are influenced by’ some other musical genius. But in the case of Ross McLennan, this musician stands on his own splendid pedestal. As he appears on the Spiegeltent stage, the audience is unaware that he’s arrived until he intones wryly, “Most inauspicious entrance to the Spiegeltent ever.”
As the applause starts after the first song, McLennan poses, rockstar-style: arms in the air, his fingers forming two ‘V’ shapes in the air. He’s got the true essence of indie pop running through his veins, and this SLAM gig lets loose his unique discordant melodies. It’s raw and brash, but underneath an unpolished lushness shines, producing a slightly unhinged brilliance.
The full ensemble of strings, woodwind and powerhouse rhythm section is creative and surprising at every turn. The lyrics are as important and inspired as the music, its registers roaming from rocking highs to soft mellow lows to a gorgeous melding of emotion and melody and pure feeling. It’s great to see such a full turn out for a 5pm show, and as smiling audience members file out, McLennan can be seen packing up guitar leads and lugging amps off the stage – the unceremonious duty of this one-of-a-kind musician.