May 16, 2011, London, England – Sometimes I like to imagine that I’m Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and I can relive fantastic events over and over again for eternity. If this were ever to happen to me I would insist on including a Handsome Furs gig in the mix. The Montreal husband and wife duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry certainly know how to perform and I defy anyone to find a live act with more passion and energy. Essentially, if they were to become a routine part of my life I may be able to quit caffeine.
Handsome Furs played the Lexington, a small pub in London’s North End known for showcasing acts with a little edge that have yet to break into the overwhelming London scene. The venue itself boasts incredible sound and atmosphere, which amplified the band’s penetrating sound. The fascinating thing about the Handsome Furs is that they play every show as if it were their last ever. They own the stage and sweat more than I have ever seen at a live show before.
With a new album Sound Kapital set to be released on June 28, the show was almost entirely dedicated to new material. On occasion this can be disappointing, but on this night it couldn’t be further from the truth. From what I’ve heard, the new album promises to be very good indeed. The new material is fast, hard and much more electronic than previous offerings. Some tracks are void of guitar and rely heavily on pulsating beats. A few songs from Face Control, including ‘I’m Confused’, ‘All We Want, Baby, Is Everything’ and ‘Radio Kaliningrad’ were scattered throughout the new material while songs from 2007’s Plague Park were noticeably absent. It seems the Handsome Furs are moving on, and in all fairness their earlier more sparse music might have dampened the energetic mood.
Dan and Alexei have an obvious and understandable chemistry and seem to enjoy feeding off one another. Alexei literally throws herself into the music and occasionally ends up on the floor. I’m not quite sure if I should describe her as adorable or frightening, but either way it works. Dan has a very distinctive voice that never gets drowned out by the overall noise.
Though Handsome Furs were originally seen as nothing more than a Wolf Parade side project, those days seem to over. Their obvious passion for their craft as well as simple, rocking songs will hopefully translate into many more years of dancing.
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