Duffy and the Doubters / Sex Church / To Bad Catholics Interurban Gallery, Vancouver BC January 15

Duffy and the Doubters / Sex Church / To Bad Catholics Interurban Gallery, Vancouver BC January 15
It's difficult to imagine three more mismatched bands than To Bad Catholics, Duffy and the Doubters, and Sex Church. Still, the groups' unlikely combination of novelty R&B, fuzz pop and noise rock, respectively, didn't deter the Vancouver audience, who braved the rainy weather and crammed into the Interurban Gallery beside the recently relocated Scratch Records.

The room was full by the time openers To Bad Catholics took the stage. A side-project consisting of No Kids collaborators Nick Krgovich and Julia Chirka, the pair were decked out in schlocky outfits that included gold chains (worn by Nick) and a gaudy gold vest (worn by Julia). Their set was closer to a conceptual art piece than your average musical performance, as they cued up an iPod and mimed on keyboards that were conspicuously unplugged. It was goofy but endearing, and their parody of tacky pop and R&B was mercifully free of cynicism.

Next up, Duffy and the Doubters took a more straightforward approach, as Ladyhawk frontman Duffy Driediger led his band through a fast and fuzzy set that drew heavily from last year's Scriptural Supplies. Starting off with the blistering "Metal Detector" and leading into "No Wild Horses," the band never strayed too far from the studio versions, and every song was a short but sweet blast of noisy guitars and catchy melodies. Good as the tunes were, the band couldn't match the energy of To Bad Catholics, and Duffy and his cohorts spent most of the performance standing still with their eyes fixed firmly on their fretboards.

As concertgoers milled in and out of Scratch Records next door, Sex Church rounded out the night with a set of pummelling noise-laced rock and feedback-laden psychedelia. With the house lights turned down low, the group's apocalyptic guitar jams sounded downright terrifying. They didn't offer much in the way of variety, but the ferocious wall of distortion was enough to send the crowd home happy.