Vivian Girls at the Funhouse, Seattle | 31 May 2008
I’m not sure what’s going on over in Brooklyn these days, but with the Crystal Stilts,the Vivian Girls and Pains of Being Pure at Heart it seems like a full on C-86 revival over there in New Amsterdam. The Vivian Girls who seem like the perfect combination of Shop Assistants indie pop, Lush attitude and guitar chops, and Undertones pop sensibilities brought their brand of blissed out pop to Seattle on Sunday night. The Vivian Girls have caught my fancy with a punk ethos, cool name (Go rent In the Realms of the Unreal) and even better songs, so I had been looking forward to this show for quite a while. With a couple seven inch singles and a sold out debut album under their belts, they seem to gaining momentum and following. Not to worry for those of us late to the party, that sold out album will get reissued this fall on In The Red on both vinyl and cd. Mark your calendars.
Even though the album is sold out (only 500 pressed), these girls are pretty much unknown at this point. They seem like an unassuming bunch and kept a positive outlook when the sound guy was having a little trouble getting the reverb just right on the vocals, so the trio stood around on stage made nervous small talk while the sound guy looked for the right button. With the reverb finally worked out they dove into their quick and too short eight song set. They seemed a bit nervous and in a hurry, but it was completely unwarranted. Their sharp harmonies and and catchy melodies won me and everyone else over with ease. The lead vocals were all handled by Cassie who also plays guitar, with most of the harmonies sung by drummer Frankie though Katy (bassist) did get her share as well. Eight songs in about 20 minutes, it was short but really, really good. Hopefully they’ll be back again once the album gets reissued, and play a little longer.
mp3: Vivian Girls – Tell the World
mp3: Vivian Girls – Damaged
mp3: Shop Assistants – I Don’t Want to be Friends With You (from Anything Will Happen)
mp3: Lush – Bitter (from Gala)
Also check out this Pink Couch Session of the Vivian Girls doing an acoustic version of I Can’t Stay. You can also download an mp3 of the track: Pink Couch
More photos and set list over at my flickr.