The Cave Singers / Poor Moon
Sugar Nightclub, Victoria, BC, December 9
Looking at the resumes of the Cave Singers, you wouldn't expect their bag of tricks to include a flute, washboard, tambourine and harmonica, but that's exactly what the trio (recently turned quartet) brought to Victoria's Sugar Nightclub.
Photo: Megan Cole
Fellow Seattleites Poor Moon took the stage earlier in the night. Made up of members of Pedro the Lion, Crystal Skulls and Fleet Foxes, Poor Moon combined Beach Boys and surf-inspired melodies with vocals mirroring those of the Foxes. While they may have intrigued the crowd early on with the use of a xylophonist, clapping and bells layered over guitars, drums, bass and keyboards, as the set progressed, each song began to run into the next and started to sound tied together with vocals carbon-copied from the Fleet Foxes.
But as the anxious crowd waited for the Cave Singers, whispers of "I'm a mega fan," could be heard by some in the audience. When the group finally took the stage, they immediately proved why the former garage-punk/post-hardcore rockers turned indie folkies have gained such a devoted following.
With the power of Marty Lund's drumming and the new addition of bassist and flutist Morgan Henderson (who also plays with a multitude of Seattle bands including Fleet Foxes), the crowd was pulled in by favourites from Cave Singers' first album Invitation Songs, as well as tracks like "At the Cut" from the the band's 2009 follow-up Welcome Joy. Wearing his trademark felt hat, lead singer and former screamer for Hint Hint Pete Quirk mixed his role of the Cave Singers' frontman with something mirroring a storyteller. Using his signature dance moves, hand gestures and fists to the sky, Quirk was able to build on the band's driving rhythm captivating the audience.
As the group worked through popular tracks like "Dancing on Our Graves" "Black Leave" and "Hen of the Woods," it didn't seem like they were "at work." Guitarist and former Pretty Girls Make Graves/Murder City Devils member Derek Fudesco moved around the stage, head bobbing and exchanging smiles with his bandmates.
Even though the Cave Singers have added Henderson and a few new instruments to the mix, they regularly show how the power of their heavier background and their less-is-more approach thrills crowds of many musical tastes.
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