Veronica Falls at the Media Club

It was a rainy Monday evening. The $23 event parking sign was up at the big lot on Cambie between Dunsmuir and Georgia. But I spy with my little eye...street parking! And since it was already 9:30, even cautious me had to pay only a loonie to cover us until 10.

This was our first time at the Media Club. The first thing we realized was how small it is! Small means a bit loud (we always forget earplugs), but it also means you can easily get pretty close and, if you're not sadly short like Sweetie, might even see the bands.

Bleached were already playing when we arrived. We didn't know anything about them, but when one of us is armed with an iPhone, we soon knew more. Sisters from Los Angeles, who played together in a previous band called Mika Miko. A punk pop band! That's my kind of stuff. I quite enjoyed their set and have since downloaded four songs from two of the three seven-inch records they have put out (gotta love that kids are issuing not just vinyl, but singles). Part way into the set, Sweetie said "Ramones." There was a definite Ramones vibe going on. And sure enough, the one cover they did was "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World" from the very first Ramones album. Very appropriate! I try not to think about that fact that The Ramones came out 35 years ago (and that we have lost Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee), but I love that the Ramones are still so influential.

It wasn't long after Bleached left the stage that Veronica Falls were ready to go. I had been waiting for this show for months! Their eponymous debut album was one of my favourites from last year, and as you may recall, I was bummed that I couldn't go to the show they did last October, opening for the Drums at Venue. But this was great—more up close and personal than it would have been at Venue.

I see from someone's Flickr photos that Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare were wearing the same shirts as they wore at Venue! Favourite stage clothes, I guess. Not that you can tell from my dumbphone camera. And the lighting seems to have been even dimmer than it was for Bleached.

Veronica Falls did strong versions of several songs from the album, including "Stephen," "Beachy Head," "Found Love in a Graveyard," "Come On Over" (finishing the set with the album closer), and two of my favourites, "Bad Feeling" and "Wedding Day." I wish they had done "Misery," but I don't remember hearing that. They also did several new songs, which sounded very good. Their drummer, Patrick Doyle, provides not only a great anchor for the songs but some key background vocals. And he says he never played drums before he joined this band!

The sound was slightly marred by some kind of low end feedback, not loud and easier for me to ignore than for my bass player. We couldn't tell if it came from Marion Herbain's bass (which was mixed a little low) or the kick drum. Still, I loved the set, and even Sweetie, who was not nearly as familiar with the material as I but is an old fan of New Zealand band the Chills, quite enjoyed it.

And they were finished by about a quarter after 11! This allowed the grannies to zip home in the trusty vehicle and be in bed by midnight, which allowed them almost enough sleep before work on Tuesday. Almost.

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