After a high seas bacchanal on the Rock Boat, indie-pop band Scars on 45 were glad to spend an evening playing in a fan’s living room. The four musicians from Bradford, England have played more than a few of these acoustic concerts since offering them as part of a pledge campaign to support their latest album, Safety in Numbers. The young Brits have been touring the U.S. since 2011 behind their eponymous first release and a few EPs. Songs from those records have popped up on American television shows, and they began their one long set with one of these, “Beauty’s Running Wild,” which played during the extended closing scene of an episode of CSI: New York. Like most of the songs that followed, it merged a haunting melody, intimate yet dignified lyrics and unusual harmonies cooked up between singer/songwriter/guitarist Danny Bemrose and the golden-voiced Aimee Driver. Chris Durling provided a cajon/tambourine heartbeat, while David “Nova” Nowakowski charmed the crowd with the first of many dazzling piano solos.
Scars played about half the songs on the new release, including the first single, “Crazy for You,” that has been getting local airplay since last summer. Although many of Bemrose’s songs are about love’s missed connections, he said that this one was inspired by the lifelong unspoken attraction between two of his friends that ended well. The only cover, a charming version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” had the audience singing along. “We’re huge Fleetwood Mac fans,” said Durling. “We’d always talked about doing that song, and gave it a go on the Rock Boat last week. It’s a hard song to do, but we’re finally getting to grips with it!” The band brought along a videographer, and the 35-fan audience—from college girls from the Republic of Georgia to 80-somethings from the suburbs—became part of the video for the album’s second single, “Take You Home,” which the band played twice. “We enjoy house shows and they help us structure our tours nicely,” Durling said. “For the video, they seemed an obvious tie-in.”
– Kay Cordtz