Concert Review: The French Kicks, Horseshoe Tavern, Sept 17

Toronto – The French Kicks are a New York based indie melodramatic pop act. The bands they list their influences as Pixies, The Kinks, The Cure and Joy Division. The band came to the Horseshoe Tavern Wednesday night to promote their 4th album – Swimming. I didn’t really know too much about the band heading into the show. I like a couple of their tunes, including ‘Trial of the Century’, ‘One More Time’ and ‘Said So What’. That was enough for me to go, it was only 13 bucks too (two beers). I last saw the French Kicks in December 2004, when they, The Unicorns and Hot Hot Heat played to a sold out show at the Opera House. I distinctly remember singer Matthew Stinchcomb jumping on top of a bar and rocking out during the Hot Hot Heat set, then going on stage and diving into the crowd as well. That was a good show.

So how was this show? It was alright. The French Kicks really do wear their Cure influences well. The dreamy pop sound, the little keyboard bits and the vocals all have that 80s type of pop rock sound to them. The only problem I found was this – while they have some good tunes, the French Kicks never really have the songs to kick a show into that extra gear. The crowd is energetic, and there were definitely some big French Kick fans their, but I found that the songs just seemed to reach a certain energy level – enough to keep your head nodding, but not enough to get you going crazy. I guess that’s their music type, but you can see the half full crowd was primed for some lapses of insanity. Older tunes like the aforementioned ‘Trial of the Century’ got a greater response then their new stuff (which dominated the set), but a friend of mine was disappointed with the fact that they didn’t play ‘1985’.

Overall, it was a decent show for Wednesday night.


Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.