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VERUCA SALT

Veruca Salt  -  Photography by Daniel Grant
Veruca Salt – Photography by Daniel Grant

The Community Chest

Rosemount Hotel

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The original line-up of Veruca Salt may have had 15 years off, but they were impossible not to love on Saturday night at the Rosemount, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that they’ve been away far too long.

Former BFFs Louise Post and Nina Gordon fell out spectacularly in 1998 – the latter left the band, and the two did not talk for many years. Yet here they were. Following a rocksteady pop set from The Community Chest, the frontwomen bound onstage hand-in-hand as if to indicate that this was no we’re-only-in-it-for-the-money reunion of convenience, and went on to have as obviously a great time all night as the nearly-full bar did.

It’s hard to think of another band led by two such talented women who – then or now – can deliver songs that pulse with the ferocity of a pack of wolves one minute, then waft delicately and dreamlike the next.

Post and Gordon both wield their guitars like axes, purring then howling into their microphones, neither of them seeming to have lost any of their range over the past two decades, and they’re at their best when harmonising like rock’n’roll angels. Jim Shapiro nails down the drums with a Phil Rudd-like metronomic quality, while Steve Lack completes the rock solid foundation on bass.

In addition to new tracks It’s Holy – saluted on Gordon’s hand-made T-shirt – and The Museum Of Broken Relationships they crammed roughly three quarters of both albums they made with this line-up into a fantastic set, with Forsythia, All Hail Me, With David Bowie, Don’t Make Me Prove It and Venus Man Trap all kicking arse.

The higher-than-usual ratio of girls to boys in the crowd spoke a lot for the influence that Post and Gordon had in the band’s initial incarnation, and it’s some of the most personal songs about being a girl that got the most rousing responses from the crowd – Shimmer Like A Girl and a wonderful a capella shot at One Last Time in particular, with the crowd raising the roof, led only by Post’s emotive vocal.

The irrepressible Seether, starting with a jolt and that ‘Wow!’, got the whole crowd and band bouncing out of control, and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the encore kicked off with the enormously popular Shutterbug and alt-hit Volcano Girls getting the whole room bouncing again, before Victrola and Earthcrosser shut down a great night.

SHANE PINNEGAR

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