Vivian Girls, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, Tues 26th Jan 2010.
Support by Blue on Blue and Veronica Falls.
A vaguely idiotic friend of mine recently asked the vaguely idiotic question:
"Vivian Girls: what's all the fuss about? Surely they can't be all that?"
Oh you poor, ignorant, ginger fool. How little you know. If there were ever a fine example of just how awesome the Vivian Girls are, or just how much 'fuss' follows them loyally, this evening was it. Over 50 people were turned away from the door after failing to procure tickets, and rumour has it that one chap even tried to bribe the doorman £100 to let he and his friends enter the inner sanctum.
After battling the queues and eventually squeezing ourselves into the rammed venue, we were dismayed to find we had only caught the end of support band Blue on Blue's set. What we did manage to see, however, was brilliant. After the truly disappointing news that An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump have disbanded, it is great to see former Experiment member Dee, back on stage, and firmly in her element. Blue on Blue are Dee, Mark and Billy and even though they've only played a handful of shows, they already demonstrate brilliant promise. Unfortunately, on this night, the band appeared to have lost their guitarist, but soldiered on regardless. Beautifully simple songs, with Dee's divine, languid vocals enveloping the audience in a mesmeric haze, Blue on Blue proved they are definitely ones to watch.
Shoegaze favourites Veronica Falls too confirmed their place as one of the best London bands currently in existence. The four-piece were as tight and driving as ever, with set staples 'Beachy Head' and 'Found Love in a Graveyard' pleasing the ever-growing crowd. This dark and somewhat cavernous venue lent the band a slightly moodier sound than previous gigs they've played, setting a new spin on a often heard set. A crying shame, then, that Roxanne experienced difficulty with her mic levels. A minor distraction in an otherwise faultless and captivating performance.
Low-fi sweethearts, Brooklyn trio (and current apple of London's eye) the Vivian Girls played to a rapt and energised audience. Having thought Cassie seemed a little weary during an interview the day before, I was thrilled at the spirited and relentless set that played out. Old favourites 'Wild Eyes' and 'Tell The World' still sound as good as ever, with new material 'When I'm Gone' and 'I Have No Fun' carrying a great deal more punch live than new album Everything Goes Wrong itself promises. Barely taking time to breathe, the girls launched into the next song with relish, and meant that we enjoyed the fullest set list they could have possibly offered. The real higlight of the evening, however, was the mid-set acapella version of The Chantels 1957 hit 'He's Gone'. Sweet, sensitive and effortlessly beautiful, this song is the perfect response to my foolish friend's question: the Vivian Girls? Yes, they really are all that.
Cassie, Vivian Girls
To hear the Vivian Girls interview with Ruth Barnes, head on over to the brilliant The Other Woman.
To see the full photographic brilliance from this night, click here.