Camera Obscura / The Diableros Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON - July 4, 2006

Jetlag has the power to suck the wind out of the sails of even the loudest and most energetic rock’n'roll bands, so you can imagine what hell it plays with a soft rockin’, head bobbin, daisy frolickin’ band like Scotland’s Camera Obscura. After Toronto’s the Diableros finished their raucous opening set of anthemic rock, the Scottish veterans of some of the sweetest, hookiest relationship pop you ever did hear took the Horseshoe stage looking bewildered and bleary-eyed. Fresh off a cross-Atlantic flight on their first tour stop in support of their new disc, Let’s Get Out Of This Country, Camera Obscura front-woman Tracyanne Campbell, unable to remember even how they planned to start things off, held up the show until her missing set list could be delivered to the stage. Though it seemed like a whole lot of fuss over nothing at the time, it turned out that set list was to be treated as scripture for the evening, as the group stuck to the plan letter for letter as they trudged through the peaks and valleys of their new disc. Luckily, even when they’re half awake and distracted Camera Obscura can still write weepy, throwback ’60s pop circles around their contemporaries, and they got the crowd bouncing with such instantly catchy tunes as "Lloyd I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken,” "If Looks Could Kill” and "Come Back Margaret.” There were a few too many poorly timed interludes for misty-eyed ballads like "Country Mile” and "Dory Previn,” and the guitars were noticeably out of tune on several occasions, but the assembled sea of vintage cowboy shirts and craft dresses didn’t seem to mind, cheering enthusiastically in response to every weary smile Campbell could muster. Maybe next tour they’ll give themselves a day or two to adjust.