Veronica Falls & Bleached @ The Media Club

FEBRUARY 20th, 2012

London buzz band Veronica Falls returned to Vancouver, and admittedly opened up about how excited they were to be back. “We love this city,” lead vocalist James Hoare told the crowd. Despite probably using that line on every city on their tour, the Media Club audience ate it up, and Veronica Falls had them in the palm of their hand the whole show.

After all, this is a group that every music website has been freaking out about for the past six months; yet their cool factor seemed to be a non-issue as they hugged their fans, autographing their vinyl at the merch table between sets.

Promoting their 2011 self-titled debut, the UK group appears on stage in chaotically mismatched paisleys, polka dots, and stripes, yet somehow manage to make it cool. Perhaps it’s their live set, which is a full 360 from their album, adding unbelievable live musicality to already favourable indie-pop songs, such as the guitar shredding “Bad Feeling”. When it came to the slower-tempo “Stephen”, the entire quartet was belting out the lyrics in full form, an exact personification of their geeky-meets-cool vibe, backed by sincere musicianship.

Opener Bleached featured former Mika Miko members (and sisters) Jennifer and Jessica Clavin. Main vocalist Jennifer charmed the audience with her girl-next-door meets apathetic-East-Van-barista persona that preceded each number with, “This is a new song.”

Eventually someone in the front row called her out on it with, “So, they’re all new?” She flipped her aptly dyed blonde hair to the side, let out a massive giggle, and immediately sped into “Searching Through the Past”, repeating the refrain “Boy, don’t tell me I’m crazy” on a near-endless loop.

The Los Angeles outfit, who only have a series of 7" releases to their name, had the packed Media Club in full form, with blog photographers elbowing each other out of the way to snag shots of the up-and-comers. The echo-y reverb was all the more apparent in Jennifer’s speaking banter. “Have any of y’all seen the Lady Gaga special for Thanksgiving?” she asked. “This lighting is reminding me of that.”

With each brief piece of commentary, she’d spit out a massive anxious laugh before the drummer halted the silence with a childlike thwack, attempting to cover up her somewhat rhetorical questions to the crowd. “Where the hell do you get poutine in this city?”

//JJ Brewis, art director

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