The Mark of Excellence

The Bicycles

Olympic Community Hall, Halifax, NS, October 19

By Matthew RitchieAfter an extended recording hiatus, Toronto twee-pop quintet the Bicycles returned to the stage at Halifax's Olympic Community Hall to play a set of polished pop songs for a mild crowd of aging hipsters.

The band weighted the start of the show with a smattering of tracks from their upcoming album, which singer/guitarist Matt Beckett promised would be out sooner than later. If early live cuts were any indication, it sounds as if it may be their best album yet.

With the new joints out of the way, the stunning chamber poppers jumped into a quick selection of old hits off 2006's The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly and 2008's Oh No, It's Love. Drummer Dana Snell channelled her inner Ringo Starr on a precise rendition of "I Know We Have to be Apart," while Beckett softly crooned "Paris Be Mine" as Drew Smith and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Scott exchanged handclap duties for the appreciative crowd.

As the set came to a close, the band apologized for being so rusty, admitting it was their first live go in quite sometime. But for those in attendance, it was like '60s pop revivalists had never left.

To see Exclaim!'s Halifax Pop Explosion photo gallery, courtesy of Lindsay Duncan, head here.

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