(Photo: Malia Thornton)
Typically bands like to elicit a mountain of emotions with their sets — going from high energy to low and wrapping up with the fiercest they’ve got. Canadian garage-country-punk rockers Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs, on the other hand, maintained a consistent level of high energy, and they seemed incapable of growing tired. Listeners ate it up; some seeming to have out of body experiences while others were keen to the idea of swaying back and forth, hands in pockets. Despite it being a smaller show than I had seen in a while, the band didn’t let that bother them and took the opportunity to prove their worth. Playing the Pinhook, in Durham, was the perfect opportunity to be in a laid back environment where the band could be themselves on stage and off. So, when they shook the floorboards so much that equipment was knocked over, it wasn’t a big deal; it did bring some off-handed surprise to those standing nearby though.
It was the type of show that can be looked back on fondly, recalling such niceties as ‘I knew them when they were playing for their lives/looking for a place to stay/crashing on floors/living on bread and beer.’ In between songs, they would tell a story or take swigs of beer, always eager and ready for what was next on their set list. During those moments, those in the crowd would take the opportunity to shout requests, and luckily, many were part of the band’s repertoire anyway.
Throughout their time on stage, their presence was electrifying. Dancing about and causing a ruckus was the most thrilling part of their set, as Andy Clark and Sam Coffey even went so far as to jump off the stage and play alongside listeners drunk with glee from seeing such madness up close and personal.
The band ended their set with “All To Myself” which drew hoots and hollers as the crowd danced any way they knew how. The singing grew louder as the crowd, too, joined in, and the bar shook with excitement. Admittedly, I was disappointed to see it end so soon; though after so much thrashing, the guys looked like they could use a short break themselves.
Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs are a band with a growing fan base, but an explosion is to be anticipated given their continued demand to be heard. To hear the band’s latest album, visit Bandcamp or listen to their covers on Facebook.