As SALES performed to possibly the smallest crowd since records began, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson found out what everyone was missing out on.
It can’t be easy for a new band to travel half way across the world on a shoestring budget, hiring cars to drive yourselves across countries and running the tour pretty much independently. It certainly can’t be easy that when you turn up to one of your shows halfway across the world, only nine people turn up to watch you perform. Unfortunately, this was the case for Florida two piece SALES, who this weekend stopped off at the Shipping Forecast as a part of their 30 date European tour, and played a set in front of nine people. Nine.
In fairness though, it was a busy night in Liverpool. They were up against the likes of Vetiver, Evil Blizzard and the Irish Festival, which were all taking place in different venues across town, so it’s fair to say the Merseyside music regulars were a bit spoilt for choice. But still, for a band who had that morning driven themselves up North from Bournemouth, played an early afternoon slot at Manchester’s Carefully Planned Festival before eventually arriving in Liverpool for their evening show, you’d probably like to see a few more faces in the audience.
The duo made the most of the situation though, in what was quite an unusual night from the off. There were no support acts, the band didn’t start until 45 minutes after the advertised time, and there was a strange kind of tension hanging in the air. A feeling amongst the small audience of, “is this it?“.
Addressing the nine onlookers after the first song though, singer Lauren Morgan asked “So what’s everybody’s individual names? This feels like the only show where we’ll be able to get to know everyone.” “Joe!“, shouted someone in the crowd named Joe, everybody laughed and that tension was lifted. You could almost feel the atmosphere warming.
The duo, made up of Morgan and guitarist Jordan Shih, took the opportunity to show off their personalities throughout, entertaining with their tour stories, throwing out some free t-shirts which they could no longer carry round with them due to a knackered suitcase, and asking our photographer. “how can you take so many pictures of two people standing still? I’ve got a special move for you later in the show, make sure you catch it“.
Their music is good too, by the way. The duo’s guitars weave together over minimalist, electronic beats to create a jangly indie sound, while Morgan‘s languid vocals and dreamy melodies hold it all together. Tracks such as Chinese New Year, big sis and Renee showcase SALES‘ knack for effortless lo-fi pop.
The set was fun, and because of the audience size did feel as if you were in on a bit of a secret. While SALES don’t completely blow you away due to their slightly one paced sound, they certainly put a smile on your face and have a handful of songs that suggest they’ve got a lot more still to come.
What’s most impressive though is how they turned a night which seemed doomed from the start around, completely in their favour. Their personalities shone, the songs impressed, and nine people left the Shipping Forecast with a smile and a free t-shirt.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Simon Lewis.