For a Monday night show at the Horseshoe, there was quite a bit of enthusiasm for the excellent bill of The Rosebuds and Land of Talk. Even though the attendance was a little lacklustre, both bands gave inspired performances that provided for a strong double-bill of energetic rock that got the week off to a good start.
As much as their fans are pining for a follow-up to the Applause Cheer Boo Hiss EP, it’s easy to see how Land of Talk have not been able to stop touring behind their debut. With recent jaunts to Europe and the States, not to mention having heavily toured Canada, the band is going as far as their stellar EP will let them. This was the first Canadian show for new drummer Eric Thibodeau and should put to rest any fears that Land of Talk will lose their trademark closeness between band members. Playing a mixed set of new songs and ones from Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, the three-piece had an amazingly clear sound that still managed to sound raw and exposed. Their live sound has that indefinable something that can’t be caught on record, especially the vocals of Liz Powell (pictured above left) in “Speak To Me Bones” and “All My Friends.” Their set only got better as it went on, ending in a rapturous applause that earned them a one song encore.
It was going to be hard for The Rosebuds to follow Land of Talk, especially because of this year’s so-so Night Of The Furies. From Raleigh, North Carolina and lead by the husband and wife team of Ivan Howard (pictured right) and Kelly Crisp, put on an entertaining and passionate set, though a little uneven at times. Injured and having to spend most of the set sitting down, Howard was still an engaging performer when singing or playing guitar, while the blonde Crisp, with a blue, billowy sleeved blouse beneath a black dress, looked like she was about to perform with an ABBA cover band.
Opening with a trio of songs from Night Of The Furies, “Silja Line,” “Hold On To This Coat,” and “Cemetery Lawn,” it was a pleasant surprise to hear the songs reinterpreted with a harder, fuller sound than they appear on record. The guitars featured more prominently live and led to a more organic, natural sound than the over-produced tones of Night Of The Furies. “Cemetery Lawn,” in particular, became a swaggering rock and roll number that was one of the highlights of the night. The set was a generous mix of new and old songs that included many tracks from The Rosebuds Make Out and Birds Make Good Neighbors, with “Boxcar” and “Back To Boston” highlighting the band’s past repertoire. While their energy lagged a little during the middle of the concert, they managed to pick things up again late in the set and finish off the night in fine form.
Photos by Carrie Musgrave.