Concert Review: Happyness, May 23, The Garrison


It’s a bit of a shame that London band Happyness played to a somewhat sparse crowd at the Garrison on Tuesday night – perhaps it was the fact that it was a Tuesday, or that there were several other concert options to choose from throughout the city that night, or maybe it had something to do with the somewhat last minute venue change. Whatever the reason, they put on a solid show regardless, playing a mix of songs from their two full lengths as well as last year’s Tunnel Vision On Your Part EP.

The band is touring behind their new album Write In, which sees them expanding their sound while still retaining the basic core. The Pavement/Wilco/Teenage Fanclub influences heard on their debut Weird Little Birthday are still evident but the new album sees them expanding their sound with a bit more melodicism coming through and a broader range of sounds and influences coming into the mix.

Referring to themselves as three and a half English boys who were far from home, (the “half” being the auxiliary fourth member Paul Abderrahim, who’s French) Happyness focused mostly on the music, leaving the stage banter to a minimum other than a few slightly awkward (though still quite humorous) comments throughout the earlier half of their set. Towards the end though, they opened up a bit more, telling a funny story involving Win Butler and their show in Montreal the previous night before launching into their Butler-referencing set closer “Montreal Rock Band Somewhere.” Apparently they got a bit psyched up when they spotted the Arcade Fire frontman entering the venue and were convinced he was there to check them out. As singer/guitarist/bassist Jon EE Allan put it though, the story ended more like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm than anything else, with Butler apparently leaving five minutes before they took the stage. Oh well. At least they got a cool story out of it.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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