Math & Physics Club with Boat at Vera Project Fusion Cafe
18 November 2006
You would think that seeing a couple bands play their hometown would be a regular occurrence, not so with Boat and Math & Physics Club. Both bands call Seattle their home but play sporadically here. Saturday night they played together at the roaming Vera Project. It’s roaming because they’ve moved out of their old home in Belltown and are waiting for their new digs in the Seattle Center to be completed. This show happened to be at the Fusion Cafe. It’s not really a cafe, it’s the conference room at the downtown YMCA (of which I’m a member!).
The problem with the space was that it has no stage, so you had to get really close to see the band. You kind of felt like you were in a rehearsal space, it was laid back and there was a good vibe in the room. It was an all ages show, as all Vera shows are, with four bands that played (We missed Eux Autres and Matthew Shaw). My friend Mike and I were joking with one another about which one of us was the oldest in the room. I had him beat by a couple months, but I think a couple of other guys there had me beat, although as bored as they looked they could have been someone’s dad.
This was the first time I had seen Boat, and I was looking forward to it. I really like their record Songs that you Might Not Like. I think Magnet‘s review called them spaz-rock. They’re definitely quirky, but they’ve got a pocket full of really catch songs. Their set was mostly from their latest record, a few new ones and a couple I didn’t recognize, like the song they opened with. They did Last Cans of Paint, I’ve Got Ninjas,Greasedip Hairclip, Free the Birds In the Stall, and I wish they would have done Remember the Romans and The Bar is to Low to Fail. But the set was short, maybe 30 minutes. They’ve got a great sound and energy that they really convey well live. Here’s looking forward to seeing them again with a bit more time to play.
The Math & Physics Club are a bit of throwback to the Sarah records days. Throw in a bit of the Lucksmiths, Belle & Sebastian and the Stone Roses (specifically Going Down) and you’ve got a pretty good idea of how they sound. Their new record on Matinee records is quite sublime and live they are understated cool. They opened with the peppy Weekends Away from their first ep, I missed organ a bit, but I’m a sucker for that warm old sound. The new songs sounded really good, especially LaLaLa Lisa where they had a guest trumpet player. This was a really good setting for them, a small room that they could fill up with their gentle sound. The brushed drums and violin all came through quite nicely in the mix, and this was the first time seeing them live, that I could actually hear the vocals in the mix (which is a good thing)!
One surprise last night was their choice of covers. They did Shaking Through, an old REM song off of Murmer. It was spot on and they even kinda looked like REM circa 1983 counting off to start that song.
It was a short set for them as well, but they hit the highlights of their new record and played a couple from their first two ep’s. In case you missed them they’ll be playing again in Seattle at the Town Hall Series on 17 February. You can bring your kids to that one for free! See ya there.