April 30, 2009
I regrettably skipped over my last chance to see Canadian synth-pop maestros, Junior Boys, which would have been Pitchfork Festival a couple years back and their recent album, Begone Dull Care, has been one of my most played albums this year. So, when they trekked through the Canopy Club a couple days back, I made sure I was there. I’m very glad I made the trip, the band provided a wonderful night of (mostly) laid-back, soulful dance tunes and gorgeous, melodic electronica.
The show was opened by English musician and multi-instrumentalist, Max Tundra. I didn’t catch his whole set but what I saw of was very enjoyable. The glitchy, pop beats he was laying down and his goofy personality reminded me a bit of Dan Deacon (but with an accent). The quirky dancing and use of instruments ranging from melodica to toy microphone was all quite endearing and he ended with a charming cover of Sound of Music’s “So Long, Farewell”. I’ll definitely be checking out more of this guy.
The crowd for Junior Boys was a bit smaller than I expected but it turned out to be a really good thing as it made for a very intimate show and no one was afraid to dance. Jeremy chatted with the crowd throughout the set and encouraged us to let loose by offering up a free tote bag to person who made a made the biggest fool of themselves dancing (of which Max Tundra was the judge). The band opened with the retro, new wave sounds of “Hazel”, the first single from Begone Dull Care, which was splendid and they continued with a set that mixed new material with a number of songs from So This Is Goodbye and a couple from their debut, Last Exit.
I was very impressed with the sound of the band, which was crisp and well-mixed and the use of a live drummer definitely enhanced the performance. The synths sounded incredible on both the chilled-out melancholy jams like “Parallel Lines” and “Double Shadow” and heavy, club-bangers like “Work” and “Bits and Pieces”. The set closed with crowd favorite, “In The Morning” before the band came out to do an extended version of early track “Under The Sun” which made for a stunning climax. Not a bad way to spend a Monday night, eh?
More artsy B&W pictures after the jump (view the whole set here)…
View the entire set of pictures at the musicforants.com flickr page.