Date: 4 September 2004 Venue: Richards on Richards, Vancouver

Reviewer: John Jane


The predominantly young crowd who arrived early at Richards on Richards last Saturday evening (September 4th) were rewarded with seeing flat-out performances by North Vancouver’s favourite band, The Salteens and feature artist, former Radish frontman, Ben Kweller, now relocated in Brooklyn.

The Salteens, last seen locally when they opened at the Okanagan Springs Pure Music Festival, comprise of five Vancouver musicians, Scott (guitar and vocals); Rob (guitar and trumpet); Brent (drums); Kevin (bass) and Erin (keyboard and vocals).

The band rarely covers popular tunes by other artists, preferring instead to play their own original material. Audience friendly songs like ‘Nice Day’, ‘Let Go of your Bad Days’, ‘Summer’s Gone’, and ‘Thoughts from Sound’, (currently in video rotation on Much Music) were well received by the group’s many followers, greeting each intro with cheers and applause.





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The Salteens at Richards on Richards

After the briefest of intermissions, just time enough for another sound check, it was Ben Kweller’s turn on stage. Since going solo, Kweller seems to have developed an alternative-country style using blaring guitar riffs. His unsteady voice was rather flat and perfunctory, particularly on 'stripped-down' numbers like (She Just Wants Me) 'Wanting Her Again’ - a song about a relationship that’s going nowhere. His song-writing however, is as sharp and intelligent as ever.

The only disappointments - the Salteens’ thirty minute set was too short and there was some annoying feedback. But then, what’s Rock n’ Roll without a little feedback?

© 2004, John Jane