Wrens rock local library

By Christine Ernest
September 30, 2005

Michael Nyhan

Imagine playing a concert before an audience that is at most 15 years your junior. Ever think it would be possible to entertain a room full of people that when your band was first getting together, the majority of them were just entering high school? The Wrens do this every single time they perform.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, The Wrens played an energetic concert at Thomas Great Hall at Bryn Mawr University. The sound system was not the best quality and the stage might have seemed smaller than what is found at professional venues, but that did not stop the Wrens from putting on a show that was worth more than the five dollars each audience member paid.

The Wrens kicked off their set with the slowly building song “What’s a Girl” which appears on one of their earliest releases. Singer/guitarist Charles Bissell and singer/bassist Kevin Whelan began first on stage, slowly strumming a few chords. The lights in the room dimmed until there was no light, only the sound of guitars and swirling vocal harmonies. Finally, the rest of the band kicked in, and the lights came on in full, kicking off what was to be an intense set put on by the 40-somethings.

Bassist/guitarist Kevin Whelan was all over the stage, literally, throwing up his bass guitar up above his head and catching it to a few songs later running over to lick the side of singer Bissell’s face while he was trying to perform.

The band got intimate with their audience when they performed the song “Boys You Won’t,” and they invited members of the crowd to play percussion with them. Some audience members were given drumsticks, by drummer Jerry MacDonnell, to beat on the stage floor while others were handed maracas to shake along.

The Wrens ended the night with the emotional song “She Sends Kisses.” With lyrics such as “A sophomore at Brown/ She worked lost and found / I put your face on her all year,” members of the crowd couldn’t help but sing along.

Midway through the set, a fan jumped up on stage and shouted into the microphone, “Free the Wrens!”

This fan was referring to bad experience the band had with a major label in the past. To this day, there are still two releases on their back catalogue (“Silver” and “Seacacus”) that the band does not have the rights to because the label will not give up the legal rights to the albums.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to:Loquitur@yahoogroups.com. The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Christine Ernest

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