It’s a rare and beautiful treat when you arrive to watch a support band, only to realise that there are the band whose songs you’ve been trying to place for the past 6 months. Canadian quintet Alvvays is that band, whose self-titled debut has surely permeated every media office and 6music playlist of the past few months to lodge itself in one’s brain so readily.
Lead singer Molly Rankin is a teen idol in waiting, sounding both gloriously bored and upbeat as she sings, a fascinating mix. With a sound so low-fi that you’d half expect the entire cast of Freaks & Geeks to shuffle in underage, this is the sound of long summer montages in coming-of-age movies. If this is normcore, we’ll take it.
Most bands spend hours curating their set lists, meticulously mapping out a path of tracks that represent the ebb and flow of their back catalogue. Not New Jersey’s Real Estate. Brandishing a mug full of chopped-up slips of paper, bassist Alex Bleeker invites the coquettish audience to choose the set, which, as misfortune would have it, turns out to borrow very little from their opulent latest album, ‘Atlas’. Leaning instead towards the extended shoegaze-lacquered jams that made their name in the first place, it’s a dream come true for the hardcore constituency in the front row.
To say that a live band sounds exactly like they do on record is normally to do them a disservice. In Real Estate’s case, it’s a testament to their sunny demeanour, good grace with the night’s technical issues and the near-telepathic relationship within their rhythm section. Like most American bands, they are gushing with love for the Brudenell, thanking the crowd repeatedly between song. Whilst the stop-start nature of the evening might not work for most, by the time ‘The Bend’ rings out it’s perfect ‘Champagne Supernova’-aping outro, it’s enough to make you forget the howling Yorkshire gale and dream yourself to the seashore.
Check out Real Estate's album 'Atlas' on iTunes here
Check out Alvvays album 'Alvvays' on iTunes here