Stars, Dead Child Star or Memphis, I've really enjoyed every band Torquil Campbell has been a part of, so given the chance to see Memphis (again) in an intimate venue like the Media Club, there was no option not to go.
First up though was Vancouver's Lovers Love Haters, which is fronted by Debora Cohen formerly of the post-punk-inspired band The Organ. Had a new wave-ish sound, supported by Cohen's deep vocals. Though though they seemed to be a bit low, and lost in the mix at times. They played a decent set, though many of the songs sounded a bit same-y, and they didn't have too much of a stage presence. They slipped in a cover too, “Arabian Nights” by Siouxsie And The Banshees, which actually kind of sounded a lot like the rest of their songs. But they were still pretty enjoyable to watch, and a perfectly good choice of opening band.
Then it was time for Memphis, with Torquil Campbell & Chris Dumont, joined by a few others to round out the band. Between them and Stars, I've seen Torquil live about seven times, and I am always impressed. He's so energetic and full of passion, and whatever the venue, be it a giant seated theatre or small intimate club, he pours out his soul on stage.
He was his usual outspoken and cheery self, too, dedicating “Apocalypse Pop Song” to Gordon Campbell -- whom he had a few choice words for -- and introducing “A Little Place In The Wilderness” with “here's to the end of the world; it can't come soon enough”. But he also had his fair share of more lighthearted moments, joking around, and genuinely grateful for everyone coming out.
Highlights of the set included the haunting “5 Loops” and the catchy “I'll Do Whatever You Want”, and near the end when Torquil lampshaded the whole encore concept. He proclaimed it was their last song, but then we would clap wildly and they would, of course, be back. They then launched into the immensely fun and infectious “Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey”, before coming back out for said encore with just Torq & Dumont for an older song, “The Language of Birds” before declaring the set “officially” over... but actually ending with a cover of Pet Shop Boys' “Love Comes Quickly”.
Like Lovers Love Haters, there were a couple points where the vocals seemed a bit low, but aside from that, it was a great set, and hopefully it's not another five years until the next one.
I Dreamed We Fell Apart, Apocalypse Pop Song, I Want The Lights On After Dark, 06/21/00, In The Cinema Alone, 5 Loops, Time Away, I Am The Photographer, A Little Place In The Wilderness, I'll Do Whatever You Want, What Is This Thing Called?, Incredibly Drunk on Whiskey.
(encore) The Language of Birds, Love Comes Quickly [Pet Shop Boys Cover]