Girlfriends and Boyfriends Handlebar, Toronto ON, June 13

Girlfriends and Boyfriends Handlebar, Toronto ON, June 13
Photo: Matthew Ritchie
5
I feel bad for Girlfriends and Boyfriends, I really do. On the one hand, no one wants to play a 1 a.m. set at NXNE, especially at a tiny bar on a weeknight. But the Vancouver three-piece weren't exactly making it easy for the thinning crowd to get in on the fun. Sounding like an identical cross between Gang of Four and the Buzzcocks, the new wave revivalists tried their hardest to captivate the worn-out crowd. Strutting around the stage with an air that screamed 1984, the skinny jeans-wearing power-poppers cranked their chorus pedals to ten and their Rickenbacker's to pulverize, performing lightning fast tunes that could sound right at home in the Reagan era. But as the thinning audience became more tired and the claps less polite, it seemed obvious that the band were also trying to race through their set as fast possible. And so, when the last note of their final song rang out — a bouncy little number that could compete alongside DFA 1979 any day of the week — the band took barely a second after saying goodbye to unplug their keyboards and get the hell out of there.