Photography by Lucas Iliev
Review by Lucas Iliev
The Boileroom, Guildford 26/06/15
A while ago, I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed when I saw a live video from SXSW and thought I’d have a listen. That’s how I got hooked on Alvvays. The combination of a dreamy atmosphere and beach/surf feel grabbed me straight away. So when I heard they were playing at the Boileroom in Guildford, I was in!
The thought of cold beer and some great feel-good music got me through Friday. I had been to the Boileroom a few times before in my Uni years, it’s an intimate venue with a great indie vibe and posters from previous gigs stuck across the whole ceiling so that every time you look up, you think to yourself “Oh, they’ve played here too!”
So I grabbed a drink and made my way closer to the stage, which was a bit of a mission as the place was near packed. The support band came on, a band called “Gengahr”. The first thing I noticed was the strange looking guitar their guitarist was playing. We were informed by another fan that it was a very rare Yamaha SGV300. In the first 10 seconds of their set I fell in love with the sound of it.
I’m definitely a fan of weird sounding guitars! The combination of fuzz and the Octavia made such a wonderful dreamy weirdness, accompanied by a punchy backing from the rhythm section and the unexpected falsetto vocals. It created a ‘floating in the sea at night watching the stars’ kind of vibe. If you’re an Alvvays fan, then I’d 100% recommend giving them a listen.
The venue was getting even more crowded in the lead up to the headliner. They came on stage and started the show off with a bang by playing “Your Type” followed by “Next of Kin”. This is where it got interesting. There was some sort of issue with the drummer’s snare drum, so the band stopped halfway through the song, to which everyone except the singer, Molly, left the stage. She then performed “Red Planet”! Now, looking through their steeliest from other gigs, it looks like they didn’t have “Red Planet” included in their sets, which means that thanks to that snare drum, we got quite a special treat! After the great improvisation and a great song, the rest of the band got back on stage, ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR- aaaand they started “Next of Kin” from where they had left it, and the crowd (including myself) obviously loved that. Complete professionalism there!
At one point Molly told the crowd that the next song was easy to sing along to even if you didn’t know the lyrics, but when they started playing “Archie, Marry Me” it was obvious that quite a few of us did know them and had no trouble singing them out. I also got to hear my personal favourite “Party Police”, I must say that lead part won’t leave my head! As is tradition for bands, after they ended their set with “Adult Diversion” we started yelling “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!” and we got what we asked for!
Overall it was a great night, both performances were spot on and we blasted Alvvays’ self titled album on the way home in celebration, and even though I was in a bar in the UK, I did feel like I was on a beach somewhere with a beer in my hand… just a little!