by WestCoast Weasel WestCoast Weasel
December 3, 2009

11/24/09
Railway Club
Vancouver, B.C

I was invited by Brittny from Manta Ray-Gun to come check out CiTR’s battle of the bands, Shindig, on November 24, 2009.   They were joined by two groups of competitors—Kidnap Kids and Lengthy List of Lovers.  I had heard such great things about The Railway Club, so I figured a battle of the bands scenario would be the perfect way to showcase the infamous venue.  After their model train made its hundredth (or so) rotation around the roof’s track, the bands were ready to play.

Kidnap Kids assembled their gear, comprised of a hollow body electric guitar, a keyboard, xylophone and a drum kit with the snare covered/muted leaving Fred’s focus on the hi-hat and cymbal.  Two bright yet awkward ladies, Celina and Alie, delivered eerie, beautiful vocal harmonies in near perfect unison.  I realize now that they were missing their fourth member, Enzio, on bass guitar.   The trio had the unique ability to craft cute, danceable songs akin to Sharon, Lois and Bram or the Juno soundtrack except with sarcastic, silly, and (at times) vulgar lyrics.  I’ve never heard such a jangly tune about a teacher who wants to tie up his pupil for inappropriate activities, but I have to hand it to them—I shared their grin and my toes kept tapping.

The lights were dimmed and a single filmstrip image was projected on the left side of the stage, setting the mood for the duo about to play.  After the first song the projector was smoking, requiring the stage light to be re-illuminated but their dark, somber tone maintained the desired atmosphere nonetheless.  Sam’s heavy, grungy guitar riffs were drowned a little by Britt’s bass guitar, but were both complimented by his dismal, post-punk vocals—an attribute that had been overshadowed when I caught their performance the first time.  Both vocals were represented clearly, creating an a favorable contrast between Britt’s creepy, choir like cries and Sam’s ominous, dialog-like chants.  Sam’s commitment to killing the synthesized drum track made sure that every song ended abruptly.  Not only was their set shorter than I’d hoped, it also seemed to lack some of the high energy that attracted me to them previously.  To their credit, I was later informed that some of their drum tracks were missing and certain songs were omitted.  This only left me anticipating our next visit even more.

Lengthy List of Lovers had the duty of rounding off the night with the third and final performance—another male and female duo—Daniel on guitar with Alyson on synth, vocals and one cymbal.  Her voice (not to mention appearance) was quite reminiscent of Lisa Loeb or someone equally as vanilla.  While her voice was pleasing (and the highlight of the performance), it clashed with the constantly changing and often high-tempo synthesized drums.  Daniel’s groovy guitar certainly had my attention at points including his heavy riffing in Boney M’s “Nightflight to Venus.”   Though the crowd seemed to favor his switch from the electric to the Casio synth guitar, I felt that more synthetics were the last thing this pair needed.  Although Alyson’s voice has the ability to truly stand on its own, as is the case with Daniel’s guitar playing, it didn’t feel cohesive.

I had a pretty good feeling which act would move onto the next round of Shindig, and my hunch has since been confirmed.  Kidnap Kids! return to the Railway Club on December 8, 2009 to battle Half Chinese and a yet-to-be-determined third act in the finals.  There is an impressive grand prize including recording time, advertising, and numerous showcases; may the best band win.

…Weasel Was Here

Visit these artists online:

Kidnap Kids: http://www.myspace.com/kidnapkids
Manta Ray-Gun: http://www.myspace.com/mantaraygunband
Lengthy List of Lovers: http://www.myspace.com/lengthylistoflovers

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