Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra (previously A Silver Mt. Zion, The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band with Choir and Thee Silver Mountain Reveries).
Thankfully the name is usually abbreviated to SMZ, though their website goes under the Tra-la-la name. Phew.
We've seen this excellent Canadian band previously - at the Rescue Rooms in fact, quite some years ago at a (frankly surprisingly) crammed gig. Last night was well-attended but was improved by a bit more breathing space.
The band create swirling, stirring noisescapes, with tracks that switch from gentle harmonies and swooping strings to percussive and guitar-heavy walls of sound that wash over you. It is uplifting and exhilarating.
They also feature two rather lovely and utterly compelling female violinists, Sophie Trudeau and Jessica Moss.
The evening was as ever dominated by the engaging audience-conversationalist Efrim Menuck. Topics ranged from the price of cider (the Swiss have tunnels that steal our apples from the UK), the Jeremy Kyle show ("he's the angry one, right? where the kid on the sofa being shouted at has a different name each time, but the same Umbro pants..."), and whether love is 'cheap' or 'priceless' (depending on which audience member was explaining it). When asking for comments, questions and statements he was asked what was the most amazing thing he had seen this year - Efrim said his son, born approximately 8 months ago and on the road with the band. That cannot be easy.
No encore, since bassist Thierry Amar has a problematic shoulder injury (ouch), but we were fully satiated by the band's awesome performance. Brilliant.