Canadian rockers The Balconies returned to London’s Water Rats on a brief visit to the Big Smoke in the middle of their Autumn European tour. Following on from mesmerising live appearances at The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City earlier this year, a buzz has steadily been growing around this leather-jacketed four piece, earning them a reputation for pitch perfect, blistering stage presence.
They certainly look the part – a tousled mess of big sexy hair and tight trousers, cowboy boots and scarves, The Balconies pack a punch of good old fashioned Rock’n’Roll glamour. However, there is more to these pretty young things than meets the eye – chunky, filthy riffs underpinned by seductive melodies, nuanced drumming, a perfect balance between noise and polish. Male backing vocals harmonise frontwoman Jackie O’Neville’s impressive range, never missing a note while displaying a staggering amount of energy.`
This tour came just ahead of the release of their new single, ‘The Slo’, a heavy, sexy tangle of guitars and feminine vocals, beguiling and dark, with a slick, B&W cartoon video to match. And despite all the hints at the dark side, The Balconies retain a friendly feel. A braver person might even call them cute…
Sounding somewhere in between The Dandy Warhols, Band of Skulls and Juliette and the Licks, Canada’s latest export brings a lot of fun to the table. Smiling, Jackie O’ greets the crowd in between a lot of hair swishing and head banging, and she certainly has the windpipes to carry off both the louder and the delicate extremes of their tracks. As ever, the Water Rat’s acoustics tend to drown everything out in a wall of noise, but everyone was too busy having a good time woo-hooing along to notice…