Real Live Action

Victoria, Victoria! + No Gold, Taxes

February 1 @ Cambrian Hall

Review By Jordie Yow

The show started about an hour late—not surprising in these sorts of events. But in this case, the lateness could easily be forgiven. The show was the last hoorah for Tooth and Dagger, a small indie paper that existed for about a year before declaring bankruptcy and being sent off to the great beyond with this party.

The night was supposed to kick off with Petroleum By-Products, but they were MIA, so Taxes started things off. Tooth & Dagger columnist Sean Orr fronts Taxes and gave it his all, belting the songs out into his mic and sometimes into a mop that he’d found at the side of the stage. Taxes have a tight, hard-rock sound with some grime on top. Unfortunately, despite their solid effort, Orr’s (supposedly) politically charged grumpy vocals were unintelligible due in part to a singing style reminiscent of the Boss or Dylan, but mostly due to his voice being too low in the mix. C’est la vie. With the By-Products still lost, No Gold took to the stage. I hadn’t seen them since their previous incarnation, Yukon, but they are spectacular now. A simple three-piece, these boys play innovative indie-rock, with discordant guitar and bass taking their cues from the stylings of post-punk’s minimalism. However, No Gold does not have the coldness that one might associate with the sounds of say, Gang of Four; their music is warm, rich and emotionally inviting. Using humour and empathy to win over the audience, No Gold played songs such as “S.W.E.D.E.N.” and “Fucked Up,” before ending with the bass player leaping onto their drum kit.

Finally the By-Products showed up fashionably late. They played pretty much what they usually do, which isn’t nearly as good as the B-52s they emulate, but is pleasant enough for 10 to 15 minutes. Then it gets repetitive. Presumably, Victoria, Victoria! came on and played without a hitch at this point, but all the delays had made this reviewer sleepy.