The Courtneys Tubby Dog, Calgary AB, June 20

The Courtneys Tubby Dog, Calgary AB, June 20
Photo: Steve Louie
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West coast indie-pop trio the Courtneys had been a cause celebré in Vancouver even before their self-titled debut came out earlier this month, but buzz is now building eastward, or at least it appeared that way at the band's jam-packed Sled Island show at Tubby Dog. That said, it's not too terribly difficult to make the modest wiener shack look full.

Unfortunately, while bodies were jammed together the whole venue through, the lack of a stage meant only about the first dozen or so fans up front could see any action. You had a better chance of eyeballing the martial arts flick that screened above the band.

Despite the visual inconvenience, the Courtneys still delivered the goods — namely jangle-heavy tracks playing somewhere between early '80s kiwi-pop crew the Clean and the early '90s alt rock of the Blake Babies. Though on the whole it was stellar, the hypnotic four-on-the-floor rhythms and ultra chipper cries of drummer Jen Twynn Payne on tracks like "90210," "Manion" and "Nu Sundae" start to blend after a while.

A smattering of banter found Payne and bassist Sydney Koke repping their Calgary heritage, detailing their dangerous ride into town, and dedicating "Delivery Boy" to absentee B-Lines frontman Ryan Dyck, who was stuck in Banff following a mudslide on the highway.