Sabai @ The Ark 04-01-09

January 20, 2009

The Ark, Edinburgh, January 4 * * *

January is never the busiest time for gigs. While the music business shakes off its festive hangover, local bands are left to fill the void left by their touring contemporaries. It’s a good chance for those groups on the fringes to make their presence felt – tonight that opportunity fell to Edinburgh-based quartet Sabai.
Being bottom of a four-band bill on a cold wet Sunday night inevitably meant it was a small crowd that watched on as the four-piece took their positions on The Ark stage.
As it turned out the band showed most promise early on with second track Black Dog, the song’s sudden but effective change, strong melody and less convoluted feel helping Sabai produce their best moment.
By comparison what followed, although delivered with honesty, energy and not without the odd moment of charm, did little to further their cause. Without a real band dynamic or presence and with melodies lacking any discernible hooks, more often than not their folked-up pop got bogged down in repetition.
Throughout their set audience numbers did continue to rise but tellingly interest levels in the band didn’t follow suit, the majority of punters more concerned with chatting than listening to the band.