Shoegazing and Nostalgia With Chapterhouse at Lee’s Palace

Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10
[Note: This is only 2/5 members of Chapterhouse. They were nice enough to come out from backstage for a shot!]

Date of show: October 6, 2010
Shot of choice: they asked what most people have, so they had a shot of Jameson

Nostalgia was in the air on this night at Lee’s Palace. It wasn’t a sold out show, but Chapterhouse filled out the venue pretty well, with their most dedicated fans right up front. Chapterhouse is a UK band that formed in 1987, with 3 EPs and 2 albums under their belt before they disbanded in 1995. Although they aren’t frequently named as a go-to band due to being short-lived, they are pioneers in the Brit guitar noise/shoegaze scene. The band has been touring with an almost entirely original lineup, with co-frontmen Andrew Sherriff (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Patman (vocals, guitar), Simon Rowe (guitar), Ashley Bates (drums) and Greg Moore standing in for Russell Barrett on bass. It’s really quite special to be at a reunion show and, although I’m a little too young to fully grasp the sentiment of this reunion, the atmosphere was something to appreciate. In fact, a fella next to me actually shed a tear as Chapterhouse opened up their set.

As much as the fans appreciated this night, so too did the band. Sherriff said, “Thank you. This means a lot to us after 20 years… on a Wednesday as well.” It wasn’t a perfect set. There were some feedback issues, some pedal issues, and Patman’s microphone dropped out at the end of “Pearl.” Still, they played an energetic 17-song set (including encore and a Beatles cover of “Rain”), despite pointing out, “We’re a little bit older now.” Their voices sound as good as what I’ve heard from recordings and the smiles on their faces to one another and the audience was something I felt more than privileged to witness. Some of the crowd yelled out requests but mostly they were just fixated on the stage and Sheriff said, “You guys have been the best audience so far.” Before the encore, he also said, “It’d be rude of us not to play a couple extra songs after 16 years.” The crowd cheered and, as I looked around this crowd that knew it was unlikely they’d see another reunion, this night was bittersweet.

Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10Chapterhouse @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10

Ulrich Schnauss

Ulrich Schnauss warmed up the crowd quite well. He opened up melodic, dreamy and very shoegazey on keys, but it wasn’t long before things started booming. He got the crowd moving and everyone was silent while grooving to his breed of shoegaze and electronic. He played/mixed in near darkness, the only lighting being a backdrop of projected images of highways, cityscapes and architecture seemingly filmed from a moving vehicle. He kept the crowd visually interested, but it worked in a way that made sense rather than being overwhelming. However, I couldn’t help but fixate on Schnauss anyway, as his mixing was really something to awe at. It was a fantastic and impressive set.

Ulrich Schnauss @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Ulrich Schnauss @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10

Fjord Rowboat

Shortly before 9, Toronto’s Fjord Rowboat hit the stage to kick off this night of post-punk shoegaze. They started their set to a fairly modest crowd, most people still siting in the seats surrounding the floor. But, for a crowd that was anxious for Chapterhouse, everyone was quiet and focused on the stage (the benefit of being at a non-hipster show is that the music is the focus, not the social aspect). The talent on guitar and synth really brought their Brit-esque shoegaze sound to the forefront and I was impressed when it was announced that their drummer is actually pretty new to the band.

Fjord Rowboat played a solid set with frequent devil horns thrown up and even a smoke machine to create an aura around the band. The guys seemed to be genuinely thankful to be a part of this really great show and they fit in really well. It was a great set to start the night.

Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10 Fjord Rowboat @ Lee's Palace, 10-06-10

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Categories: Live Music


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