20th October | The Louisiana
Stavanger havoc wranglers, Sløtface, decked the Louisiana with significant aspiration and perspiration on Friday night. It was like they’d opened a window and invited Storm Brian in from outside to drench us all. Then they took the roof off for good measure with their magnificently storming noise.
It was a bittersweet occasion, in that it was probably the last time we’ll catch them in such an intimate venue, closest to the ‘house party’ spirit that they evoke on the current album with ‘Pitted.’ My first thought upon seeing rangy bass behemoth, Lasse Lokøy oscillating wildly was to wonder whether the stage was literally big enough for him alone. With extensive, long-limbed movements, like an amped lamppost channeling Ian Curtis, he was propulsive and mesmeric throughout, the irresistible force of the Sløtface twister.
It was Lasse who broke through our inherent politeness, just before the fourth song. As pleased as we were to see them, he had to roll out the politest imperative for us to cut loose that you could possibly imagine. Once he’d stated, “I think it’s about time the mosh pit grows a bit down here,” we obliged in earnest. When the washing machine had reached its full spin cycle, he threw himself in during ‘Sponge State.’ Singer Haley Shea quickly followed suit, later also capturing the spirit of adventure in set closer, ‘Backyard’ by going shoulder-to-shoulder with sweat-soaked Sløtfolk.
Recent album, Try Not To Freak Out dominated the set list, along with ‘Sponge State,’ ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Empire Records.’ The latter provided the set’s highlight and had us all dreaming of playing bass with Sonic Death Monkey. Their tribute to riot grrrl detective, ‘Nancy Drew’ came a close second, with Haley Shea, her voice at its fullest, wielding the mic stand with menace, as well as smashing seven shades out of the only bit of Halvard Skeie Wiencke’s kit that he wasn’t battering himself. There were a few moments when it sounded like she’d left her high notes at a previous gig, but when you give it that much welly night after night, I guess something’s got to give.
‘Magazine’ gave us a chance to chant, “Patti Smith would never put up with this shit,” which is a very satisfying thing to do (although perhaps not at a crucial stage of a business meeting or at a soft play centre). ‘Sun Bleached’ enabled us to think about spring and listening to Heartbreaker on repeat, and have our own inner Tom Petty tribute. I had a momentary wobble, wondering whether they meant the Mariah Carey song, which almost spoiled the moment. By the time Haley sang, “Something is definitely bubbling up,” on ‘Pitted,’ we were already bubbling over.
Watching Sløtface feels like seeing your mates playing in a bloody good band. Not only did they give every eardrum a sound thrashing on Friday, but they also gave every pore a thorough workout. Lasse charged back to the dressing room late on to get a disposable camera for the crowd to take memento snapshots. Diving through the audience, he brushed past me, leaving a slather of Scandinavian sweat. Considering how potent Sløtface were, I considered bottling and selling it. Maybe I could just put my whole arm on eBay.
Check out the video for ‘Magazine’ below.