Review: Vivian Girls @ Proud Galleries

Valentines day, awwwh. There were indeed a higher proportion of couples out than usual. While walking to the venue at a leisurely pace I came across a couple having an epic fight. The lady had turned and was facing the wall (?) like a school child and the man had his arms folded. He edged towards her and she was like ‘NO! DON’T EVER TRY TO TALK TO ME AGAIN!’ and then turned back to face the wall. I kept walking although this juicy drama would have been interesting to watch some more.

I found the venue with ease. I decided I would get there ‘late’ because I didn’t want to hang around. Doors were at 8 and I got there at 8.30, so I assumed the support would be on maybe 10-15 minutes after I arrived. Wrong. On the door it had stage times. Doors 8pm, Desmond and the Tutus 10-10.30, Vivian Girls 11-11.30. I was annoyed, why would you open the doors at 8 and then not have anybody on stage until 10? And why is there a half hour gap between the bands? I know why, because it’s not a proper music venue. Proud Galleries has a couple of photos on the walls (which I guess is how it can tag galleries on the end of the name) and is actually more of a nightclub. It attracted a nightclub-esque clientele as well. I sat on the floor and ate my £1.35 Sommerfield Pasta, classy. I people watched, and these were not the type of people I’d expect to see at a Vivian Girls show. Middle aged women in little skirts and high heels, guys in shirts that aren’t checked and jeans that aren’t tight, who are these people!? I felt very out of place. I spotted a couple of people I recognized (sad face boy and unfriendly pure groove man). The music was so loud and it was rubbish. I ended up standing next to another photographer and if the music hadn’t been so loud we could have struck up some geeky camera related conversation.

Enough moaning about the venue. So after an hour and a half of waiting, Desmond & The Tutus were first. They were OK, I have to say I wasn’t inclined to either like or dislike them. Looks like I’m seeing them again on Tuesday though as they’re supporting Women. The lighting was terrible, it was litterally non stop flashing. It was hard to get anything nice, I just had to hold the shutter down and hope I get the good light combined with a good pose.

FINALLY, the Vivian Girls came on. Before the set I was leaning against the barrier and they were over on the other side of the room. Cassie and Katy started joking around and dancing to the rubbish music and it was quite funny to watch. They set their stuff up themselves and then got started. One thing I really like about the Vivian Girls is that they’re really endearing when they’re on stage. They were very cheery and seemed to be very happy to be playing for us. It almost was like they thought it was funny that anyone would want to come see them, especially on Valentines day. They made several jokes about this and then launched into their set with Never See Me Again. I think they played for about 40 minutes. At one point some guy charged to the front of the audience, climbed up on stage and stood there. Katy thought it was pretty funny and was grinning. The guy was quite old and obviously drunk. He wrapped his scarf around his neck then stage dived into the crowd. Nobody caught him, everyone moved out of the way. I turned around and looked at everyone awkwardly trying to avoid eye contact with him. He stood up and looked very annoyed, shaking his head. Katy told Cassie to tell us a funny story from tour. Cassie smiled and came to the mic but ended up talking about Valentines day some more. They mentioned the show they have with the Black Lips and thanked everyone for coming. For the last song there was an instrument swap. Ali on guitar, hitting it with her drumstick. Cassie on bass. Katy clearly likes to play drums and was having a blast bashing the cymbal. It was great to watch, and I look forward to seeing them again.

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4 Responses to Review: Vivian Girls @ Proud Galleries

  1. Daniel February 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    AAAAAAAArgh! Totally forgot about this!!

    Nice little piece Anika. Proud Galleries is so awful, you describe the clientele just as I recall them.

    That whole getting there so early is a bummer, but you’re right about it not being a music venue, it’s just a hole.

    Have you heard the Surf’s Up 7″ they’ve released? It’s kind of melancholy. But great.

  2. anikainlondon February 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Thanks Daniel.

    You could come see them tonight with Black Lips? Islington Academy, a reeeal music venue.

    Only heard Second Date, should really hunt down the other tracks…

  3. Daniel February 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    I can’t make tonight, but that sounds ace.

    Did you know Black Lips are performing a bandstand busk soon?

  4. anikainlondon February 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    Yeah Padraic mentioned it at the last busk… pretty exciting!

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