Concert Review: Jens Lekman, June 7th, Richards on Richards

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Tweeview | 1 Comment

jens lekman at richards on richards in vancouver

Photo courtesy of Gina Argentina

Swedish solo sensation (and Panic Manual favorite) Jens Lekman rolled into town last Sunday to what I had hoped, make up for a disappointing start to a weekend of concerts from a couple of my indie pop faves.

Researching the gig beforehand I read that comedienne Tig Notaro would be opening the show, unusual for an indie act, but it did seem fitting given Jens quirky nature. We arrived early enough in the hope of catching Tig’s act but instead were introduced to what looked like a frat boy wearing white jeans rolled up to his shins playing an acoustic guitar. I can’t say much about how he sounds because every song sounded the same if you’re just playing a guitar and it’s nearly impossible to vocally compete with all the audience chatter.

Jens and the crew hit the stage just before ten, all wearing red and white in varying outfits and matching key necklaces. Despite not having all the instruments one would expect to hear he did compensate with a added synth and electro beats via laptop, a small issue for some perhaps but with his songs so intricately woven together, the use of a laptop to compensate for missing instruments was essential.

After a polite greeting and a “naïve request” requesting the audience not to post any video of their performance online, Jens and Co. kicked into ‘I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You’ and from the first strum he had the audience in the palm of his hands. The rest of the set consisted of mostly songs from his latest effort Night Falls Over Kortedala with Jens encouraging the fans to hum the melody for ‘Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig’ to the entire band breaking out into sweeping airplane like motions and circling the stage during ‘Sipping on the Sweet Nectar of your Memory’. Not surprisingly the crowd favorite was ‘A Post Card to Nina’, a perfect example of Jens does best, tell stories. His spoken word monologue in between each verse gave the audience a little more context to this quirky tune about a lesbian presenting Mr. Lekman as her fiance to her parents. The evening ended with 2 encores, the first and perhaps the song most fans are familiar with ‘Sweet Summer Night On Hammer Hill’ after which he introduced the members of the band, two of which were Gary Olson and Julia Rydholm The Ladybug Transistor.

The set ended just after 11 after a quick 12 song set and the crowd although audibly disappointed the show was over, gave a resounding ovation to which Jens promised to return later in the evening to have a chat with anyone who wished to stay. Needless to say my heart was going Bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp after perhaps one of the most entertaining shows I’ve attended in a long time.


I’m leaving you because I don’t love you
The opposite of Hallejuah
Black Cab
Your arms around me
Kanske ar jag kar i dig
The end of the world is bigger than love
Postcard to nina
Maple leaves
Into eternity
Sipping ok sweet nectar of your memory

Encore#1 – Sweet summer night on hammer hill
Encore#2 – Sylvia

5 out of 5

Special thanks to Gina for providing photo’s from the show. Check out a few more at

Concert Review: Camera Obscura, June 5, Commodore Ballroom

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Tweeview | 16 Comments

camera obscura live vancouver commodore

Vancouver – With the recent heatwave Vancouver has been experiencing, it would seem fitting to have a band like Camera Obscura adding to it with their warm pop sounds but their performance on Friday night was enough to to have any twee fan cower deep within their anoraks only to peep out occasionally to see if it was all over.

The show kicked off with Sacramento trio Agent Ribbons and they managed to keep the crowd entertained throughout the entire set with their power-folk-cabaret sounds complete with vintage costumes and prancing tambourine player in a masquerade mask. A bit too dark for my taste but an enjoyable performance nonetheless.

Camera Obscura finally hit the stage a little after 10 to resounding applause from the near capacity crowd, and with a brief acknowledgment they kicked off the show with a track from their latest album ‘My Maudlin Career’. The rest of the set consisted of all the favorites from their 3 album back catalogue but as the show progressed it felt like the band was just going through the motions and nothing annoys me more than bands that put on disinterested performances.

I’ve been to enough concerts in my time to know when a band is or isn’t enjoying performing live and Camera Obscura’s performance on Friday night was perhaps one of the more irritating shows I’ve attended in a long time. One could blame the old stigma that Canadian’s aren’t the most lively concert attendees but I’ve always believed that it’s up to the band performing to do what they can to keep the crowd engaged. This definitely was not the case on Friday night. Everyone at the show seemed to be enjoying themselves with loud cheers after each song and the odd dancer closer to the stage. Fairly typical. CO did nothing to encourage the rest of us to clap or sing along and during one track closer to the end of the set, Traceyanne had the gall to take a seat and pan the crowd with a solemn look on her face. I can understand that bands have a unforgiving touring schedule and may not be always on their a-game for every show, but I and every punter in the crowd expect that they at least make an effort.

Hey Camera Obscura, I like you. I’ll still buy all your albums, recommend you to friends and play your songs till no end during sunny (and rainy) days but I think you should take a step back and take a look at how your elders Belle and Sebastian approach live performances. They’ve been around for much longer and always go out of their way to put on a fantastic gig with zero pretension. I’m just sayin’….

Here’s the setlist I had created on the fly during the show. I didn’t remember the names from all the tracks played and was going to go back and listen and add them but I think I’ll put the same amount of effort as CO did and just leave it as is. Enjoy!

#1- new album (intro track?)
#2 – new album
#3 – teenager
#4 – just can’t see 2nd album
#5 – James
#6 – new album mellow
# 7- French Navy
#8 – new album I’m going date tonight
#9 – new album ???
#10 – eighties fan
#11 – songs written for girls
#12 – looks could kill


Lloyd I’m ready to be heartbroken
Razzle dazzle rose

Photo’s from the gig can be found here.


Concert Review: The Maynards, November 30th, Sneaky Dees [Wavelength]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Tweeview | 2 Comments

The Maynards
photo from 6015 Willow

It’s unofficial, The Maynards are Canadas sexiest band. Hailing from Halifax, this three piece dance rock gang spread their lusty, sweaty sweater loving all over Sneaky Dees last night.

From their myspace page you would think they were a twee pop trio. Tracks like Spinny and Dance Fight ’82 are twee greatness, but walking into Dees last night, they were anything but. They rocked it. What immediately got my attention was duo of Kristina Parlee on bass/vocals and Chantal Tardiff on drums/vocals. A girl drum-bass duo? Yeah. There is something about Chantals voice that sets her songs apart. She adds a such a sweet, melodic touch, then all of a sudden you see her rocking out on her kit at the back of the stage.

It’s also worth mentioning that The Maynards are one of 20 Halifax area bands featured in the essential rock DVD of 2008, 6015 Willow.

Captured in a house that has long functioned as a hub for creativity in the city, it follows a cast of musicians and artists as they record a document of their own time. Bands fill every room in the house, from the bathroom to the attic. On-the-fly, direct and genuinely urgent, 6015 Willow follows twenty Halifax bands over three days, sweating buckets and blowing fuses.

They had a copy of 6015 Willow at the merch desk, but after spending $20 on the Dee’s crappy veggie nachos downstairs before their show, I was out of dough. If you are reading this and are in a position to send us a copy, please do.

Here is track from The Maynards 2008 release, Date And Destroy, Spinny. That is Chantal singing. I would gladly have a menage-a-trois with any two members of The Maynards. That includes you too Mr. Heath Matheson (guitar/vocals). Yes, sexiest band in Canada.