Tuesday, October 18, 2016

SSHH at the Django

Sharna Liguz, also known as Sshh Liguz, sang in bands in her native Bondi, Australia. At an Oasis show in Australia, she befriended the band's drummer, Zak Starkey, son of the Beatles' Ringo Starr. Later, while in Mexico, Starkey telephoned a guitar riff to Liguz in Australia; she added vocals, leading to their first song together being recorded over a long-distance telephone call. They started releasing material in 2006 under the name Pengu!ns Rising, with Shane Devany on guitar, and Tatia Starkey on bass. The group began playing live together in 2008, but by 2011, the touring Pengu!ns Rising lineup consisted solely of Liguz and Starkey as a duo. The duo became SSHH, a band that started as a raw, primal electro-punk ensemble but soon evolved into a guitar-punk band. SSHH will release Issues, a debut album of 11 cover songs, on November 11, 2016. All proceeds from the album will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust.

When SSHH first performed in New York in 2015, the band was a trio with Liguz on vocals, Starkey on guitar and a drummer. This time around, SSHH was a quartet, with Liguz, Starkey, bassist Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols and drummer Clem Burke of Blondie. In 2015, the band was very guitar-driven, sounding more like the White Stripes or T. Rex; this time, not so much. At the Django tonight, SSHH was more of a power pop band backing Liguz' punkish, snarling and sometimes pouting vocals. The seven-song set was comprised of covers, including Blondie's "One Way or Another" and the Sex Pistols' "Problems." This was not a karaoke band, however; the band gave the songs unique interpretations, from haunting to poppy. Liguz's vocals were interesting but Starkey's guitar sounds were remarkably adventurous, and perhaps should have been accentuated more. SSHH demonstrated a promising future.

Visit Sshh at www.sshh.co.uk.