P:ano / Beans Sugar Refinery, Vancouver BC - December 19, 2003

P:ano / Beans Sugar Refinery, Vancouver BC - December 19, 2003
Alas, with excitement but a heavy heart I made it to the Sugar Refinery just before its imminent closing (because of rigid city bylaws) to catch this un-publicised yet packed show featuring P:ano and the Beans. In fact, even who exactly was on the evening's bill remained a bit of a surprise. It began with an odd intergenerational family-style group somehow connected to P:ano front-man Nick Krgovich. The announcement of the group's name was inaudible but the fact that they left the stage after only a couple of songs was not all bad. The Partridge family? Not quite. Fortunately, P:ano soon took the stage. The graceful, low-key quartet have garnered a fair amount of success from their debut 2001 album, When It's Dark and It's Summer, but the audience tonight was equally keen to hear newer material from their anticipated upcoming release. While the sound was good, the warm feeling added by the inclusion of the namesake piano was missing and sadly many favourites were consequently dropped from the list, as Krgovich stuck to the guitar. Yet the set still featured Larrisa Loyva on keyboards, who is more vocally prominent on many of the newer songs. It will be intriguing to see whether this show reflects a direction for P:ano or whether it was simply an experiment for the night. While whispers had fluttered that Jerk with A Bomb would play, the next and final act was the Beans, or at least the majority of them. Apologetically excusing their missing drummer, the Beans, led by guitar/singer Stefan Udell, pulled out a beautiful stripped-down set reminiscence at times of Songs:Ohia or Sparklehorse. The group was also joined by local singer/songwriter Joel Phelps partway through, who dabbled at some impromptu percussion. All in all a warm but melancholic night, as musicians and fans alike bid adieu to perhaps Vancouver's best small independent live venue, if not forever at least for the moment. To sign the Sugar Refinery petition visit www.sugarrefinery.com.