AKA The Dandy Warhols come to Town
Hat perched insouciantly on his head, floppy fringe falling directly down over his eyes and reaching the bridge of his nose, pouty lips and louche look in his eyes, Courtney Taylor is the consummate dandy rock star. His angular physique and languid rock star pose while singing into his 2 microphones set up, all scream look at me. “I’m a Rock Star”. Frankly it works and I’m not a horny 19-year-old girl like the one behind me emitting piercing shrieks of “Anton” uh-wrong band hope it works out for you though.
DiG! Casts a long shadow over the Dandy Warhols, every preview mentioned it and the band must surely be sick of answering questions about it yet preconceived notions of artists personalities can and probably do affect ones level of enjoyment of the art on a purely visceral level. Let the mystery be I say.
So I came to the show not having seen DiG! but having read a lot about it and furthermore have yet to pick up the last 2 releases. Indeed my first introduction to their live show was a long gone Web cast where the band finished with a 10 min maelstrom wall of guitar sound. Yet what do I find but a pop band with a martial bent? (Sadly the Dandy’s Trumpeter was left at the border due to custom issues). No stodgy amateur marching band but a band with spring in their steps “Knees up Mother Brown” a “sproingy” sound most evident in “Bohemian Like You” which at the 60 min mark when the show finally took off came bouncing out of the speakers trampoline style. It’s their most readily accessible and identifiable tune but the groundwork was laid for the shows energetic up-tick by “Boys Better” which features those rapid chord changes which propel this song (and others in their repertoire) along in a finely tuned synchromesh fashion. No surprise then that they cover “Hells Bells” by the masters of riff based rock AC/DC.
“Boys Better” also highlights another of the bands strengths. I’m no musician myself but I couldn’t help thinking how tight they were. Drummer Brent De Boer who surely has the best rock star hairdo around, stick your fingers in the electric socket afro style was spot on throughout the show and contributed a lot of melodic harmonizing vocals especially as Courtney’s voice sounded somewhat hoarse and broken. Zia who finished the show off with “Daisy on My Toe” is personality personified (and sexy as all heck) on keyboards and sundry weird sounds and guitarist Peter Holmstron understated but an integral part of the team.
Oh and if you want to heckle a rock star then be prepared for a slow turn in your direction, eyes slowly seeking the source, mouth forming words to reply but rather a lazily raised eyebrow with top left lip curling in derision. Ah the art of the immaculate putdown.
Thanks to Keri for the great pics as usual.
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The Dandy Warhols played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver BC on Nov 15 2005
Coming soon (hopefully!) some thoughts on
Juliette and the Licks