|13-Aug-2008 03:00 am||Contributed by: pete||Concert Reviews|
I'm not sure if I had heard of Public before learning about the show last Thursday. It's a band name that sounded generic to me and so it's possible I had just forgotten the name. But now that I've seen them live, the name has changed meaning... less like the noun, as in ordinary people, and more like the adjective, as in something that is available to all people. Also on the bill, Whisky Foxes, and a singer-songwriter Iain Nabil.
PublicEvery now and then I end up at a show where the number of people in the audience doesn't seem to match the caliber of the performance on the stage, and experience tells me it goes both ways. In the case of Public, the audience size at the Rivoli just seemed a little too small for the skill-level of the music that they played. But even if the numbers were less than I thought they deserved, the people who were there moved up to the stage without provocation, which is always a good sign.
Although there were at least three stand-out songs, maybe more, the flow of the set seemed a little awkward. Having never heard their music before, I was surprised how strongly the first song grabbed at me, something usually reserved for later in the set, and what ended up being their most powerful number was pulled out somewhere just past the half-way mark. I was sort of expecting a build-up and big finish that never seemed to arrive. But set lists can be a difficult thing to craft, and so aside from the order of the songs, the individual songs themselves were surprisingly good.
Chris Stopa (vocals) has a formidable presence on stage, and managed to quickly put himself into the music, making his performance strong from the start. In combination with the hook-filled melodies of Chas Wilson (guitar) and the rest of the band, everyone in the back room of the Rivoli enjoyed an excellent show of brit-pop tinged Canadian indie-rock. Have a listen to their catchy tune Walk Away, available for listening on MySpace (and try to imagine it sounding clearer, bigger, and better).
Info: Public | Connect: MySpace, Facebook
Whisky FoxesPreceding Public was a two piece act comprised of Jordan Wright (guitar, vocals) and Debbie Suede (guitar, vocals). Together, they played a few of Jordan's songs and a few of Debbie's songs, and one song that was a collaboration. Even the name, Whisky Foxes, is a combination of The Wisk, which is Jordan's band, and Foxes, which is Debbie's band. Once Debbie's vocals got warmed up, there was some brilliant sounds coming out, more than once reminding me of Kate Bush, but perhaps a little less eccentric.
Info: The Wisk | Connect: MySpace
Info & Connect: Foxes on MySpace
Info & Connect: Iain Nabil on MySpace
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