Friday, June 15, 2012
2:54 – 9:00PM @ Lee’s Palace
When I walked into Lee’s Palace to see London’s 2:54, it was already near the end of their set with just two songs left. Sisters Collette Thurlow and Hannah Thurlow are the foundation for this UK band, with gorgeous harmonies over their moody, jangly shoegaze sound. To go along with the music, the venue was in near-darkness. But the venue was packed with fans eager to see a night full of buzz bands. In about a year, this band has made quite a splash and I was happy to at least see some of their set.
Hooded Fang – 10:00PM @ Silver Dollar (NeXT and Pop Montreal)
Toronto-based Hooded Fang is made up of Daniel Lee (vocals, guitar), April Aliermo (bass), Lane Halley (guitar) and D. Alex Meeks (drums). The band has garnered quite a bit of attention since their first full-length release back in 2010, along with their highly touted 2011 follow-up, Tosta Mista. Lee’s vocals are commanding and their indie pop is layered with surf-like garage fuzz that is guaranteed fun. Those in the crowd couldn’t help but tap their feet and nod their head along with the music. “Clap” was a particular favourite, but the entire set was quite impressive.
Parlovr – 11:00PM @ Silver Dollar (NeXT and Pop Montreal)
Parlovr got on stage and asked the crowd to join them in screaming to start off the set, instructing everyone to start off quite and get louder, describing the effect as a “rising crust.” The band played old favourites, such “Hell, Heaven” from their 2010 EP and set-closer “Pen to the Paper” from their 2008 debut album, but the set was predominately focused on their latest release, Kook Soul. Some standouts from the new album were “Holding On To Something” and “General Hell (True Love Fades),” with “sexy” song (as dubbed by Louis Jackson, according to Alex Cooper) “You Only Want It ‘Cause You’re Lonely” being the surprise favourite.
We’ve been following Montreal’s Parlovr for quite some time now and we’re thrilled to see the band getting the acclaim they deserve, as Kook Soul was long-listed for the Polaris Prize. But as great as the album is (and it is really fantastic), it’s their live show that really sets Parlovr apart from their peers, with hair flying everywhere and an undeniable energy that gets the crowd into it. Their set was certainly one of my highlights of the festival.
Bleached – 12:00AM @ Silver Dollar (NeXT and Pop Montreal)
Bleached, surf-punk garage rockers from L.A., was the 3-day headliner at the Silver Dollar. Sisters Jennifer Clavin and Jessica Clavin (formerly of Mika Miko) front this band, along with Sara Jean Stevens (bass) and Jonathan Safley (drums). There’s almost a rebelliousness and girl power vibe to their sound, which attracted quite a big crowd for their set. Some notable standouts for the set were “Think of You” and “Searching Through The Past,” both of which were released on different 7”s over the past year. While I wasn’t too familiar with Bleached before the set, I will certainly pay attention to the band now.
Double Fuzz – 12:00AM @ Rancho Relaxo (Two Way Monologues & The Indie Machine)
I made it to Rancho Relaxo to catch the end of Double Fuzz’s set. The Calgary blues rockers that make up duo are Jon Whitehead (vocals, guitar) and Roland Lowson (drums). They’ve got a loud, dirty, edgier take on the blues, which sounded great. They’ve got great energy, but the crowd was pretty sparse when I got to Rancho to see the last couple songs of the set. What I saw definitely had me curious to see more. In the meantime, their album that was released earlier this year is available is streaming on their Bandcamp.
Dilly Dally – 1:00AM @ Rancho Relaxo (Two Way Monologues & The Indie Machine)
Toronto-based Dilly Dally drew quite a crowd for their 1am set. In fact, I’m fairly certain I heard someone in the crowd say they drove 10 hours to see the band. Fronted by Katie Monks and her quirky, Dylan-esque vocals, the 4-piece is rounded out with Liz Ball (guitar), Mike Giuliani (bass) and Corey Marshall (drums). Monks has a great carefree energy on stage, which match up well with her vocal delivery. It’s undeniable how much the crowd up front loved the music, as the crowd yelled out for the music to be louder and there was some dancing at the end.
You can check out more from Dilly Dally on their Bandcamp.
Zulu Winter – 2:00AM @ Lee’s Palace
When I had first Zulu Winter’s “Silver Tongue” back in April of this year, I was eager to hear the London-based band’s full-length record. The band actually released Language on the Tuesday following NXNE, making their two festival sets a great primer for the release. The band has drawn comparisons to The Vaccines for their pop sound and Coldplay, particularly as Will Daunt’s voice is a little similar to Chris Martin’s, but Zulu Winter is much more danceable. Iain Lock (bass), Dom Millard (keys), Henry Walton (guitar) and Guy Henderson (drums) round out the 5-piece.
Daunt’s got a knack for working the stage, with obvious energy and emotion fuelling his performance. It was a fun and energetic set and, considering it was a 2am set, I was impressed to see some people dancing. “Silver Tongue” and “Key To My Heart” were certainly highlights of the set, but “Bitter Moon” was likely my favourite of the set and still remains on heavy rotation for me. I’m looking forward to when Zulu Winter makes their next Toronto appearance. When that time comes, based on their NXNE and worldwide buzz, I’m sure the band will garner quite a draw.
For those unfamiliar with Zulu Winter, Language is currently streaming on their website. We recommend you check ‘em out. | CL