Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden
huskyteer

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Night Windows

Last night I ventured to the Scala near Kings Cross to see the Weakerthans plus special guests, in the company of insofox.

We arrived halfway through the first support act, Christine Fellows. She was a perky Canadian who sang about death, decay and pet pigeons getting run over, pausing between songs to beam and tell us how happy she was to be here. I fear I gave up on her at the number which began 'We met on the emergency ward / Both getting our stomachs pumped'.

I'd forgotten the name of the second support, but the Weakerthans' website informs me she was Dawn Landes. Folk-rocky, she sang Woody Guthrie's version of 'Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet?' and a song about kids in a play ("This is a song about kids in a play - it's called 'Kids In A Play'!"), broke her guitar strap, shouted "Jamie, keep playing, motherf*cker!" at her drummer while she fixed it, then apologised handsomely to him afterwards.

She received slightly more enthusiastic applause than her predecessor, but this was as nothing compared to the reception the Weakerthans got when they emerged and whacked into 'Bigfoot!'. Listening to the albums, you can't imagine being deafened by the band and leaping up and down to their gently whimsical songs, but they don't half rock out live.

It's a shame the words were swamped a little, because for me the Weakerthans are all about the lyrics - you listen to the songs over and over again trying to work out what the heck's going on, to be rewarded with eventual insight: ohh, it's a bus driver thinking about his ex-girlfriend.

But apparently I know the entire Reconstruction Site album off by heart anyway, so it didn't matter too much.

I'm such an ignoramus, I had no idea until the lead singer announced them that two songs on their most recent album were about paintings by Edward Hopper: Sun in an Empty Room and Night Windows. Now I know, it seems perfectly fitting - Hopper is all about the sense of melancholy in ordinary things, and so are the Weakerthans.

I also realised during 'One Great City!' that the clerk counting loonies in the dollar store is counting Canadian dollars, rather than mad people as I'd hitherto assumed; I learned the word last week from a Canadian on the Modern Vespa Forum. (If dollar stores are anything like our own pound shops, of course, it's highly likely there will be a few lunatics in there too.)

They did both 'Plea From A Cat Named Virtute' and 'Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure', the latter of which made me cry like a sissy in full public view (it's that line about 'When the winter took the tips of my ears', you utter bastard lyricist, how could you?).

I was very concerned that insofox should enjoy himself, as I pretty much bludgeoned him into listening to the Weakerthans in the first place and then dragged him to one of their gigs, and he has far more indie-cred than I do really. But I needn't have worried, because when we could hear each other well enough to compare notes it transpired that we had both had a fantastic time.
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