So as I mentioned back in May, The Horrors have surprised the hell out of me in 2009. Primary Colours remains one of my favourite albums of the year so last night I was pretty excited to see them at Venue (ugh, what a terrible name) in Vancouver.
As a fan of the record, I was in luck. The main set featured the band work through the entirety (albeit slightly reordered) of Primary Colours with little in the way of crowd interaction. Instead all energy went into delivering one of the year’s finest records in all its shoegazey glory.
While most of the arrangements stuck to their recorded counterparts, each song was delivered with an unexpected ferocity; the guitar making its crashing entrance after the lengthy prologue of Mirror’s Image was a particularly brilliant moment. The crowd even got into the gig and “danced” along to the more upbeat songs like Primary Colours and Who Can Say.
The main set predictably ended with the epic Sea Within A Sea before the band left the stage. They returned for a raucous three song encore that included a cover of Suicide’s Ghost Rider as well as two tracks off their debut record, Sheena Is A Parasite and Gloves. The encore, by nature of The Horror’s evolving style, was more punk influenced than the shoegaze/80s influence of the main set and while The Horrors delivered the songs with a ton of energy the material itself simply does not stand up to what they are doing now.
Still, a great gig. The Primary Colours set in particular was fantastic. If you had told me in 2007 how much I would have enjoyed a Horrors gig in 2009 I would not have believed you.
Do You Remember
New Ice Age
I Only Think Of You
I Can’t Control Myself
Who Can Say
Sea Within A Sea
Ghost Rider (Suicide cover)
Sheena Is A Parasite
Costa Mesa’s Japanese Motors opened the show and while they weren’t terrible they weren’t all that memorable either. I spent the first half of their set wondering how the singer could get away with aping Julian Casablancas’ singing style so much while keeping a straight face. Although, as their set progressed they seemed to find their own feet a little bit more.