Maybe it was jet lag that led Cate le Bon and her band to end Thursday’s show at Mercury Lounge at fifteen til nine, or maybe it was simply an oddity of the venue’s booking. But when I’d ventured out to that show it was with reluctance that I would miss Veronica Falls with Brilliant Colors and Grooms, also playing that night across the East River at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Ever one to take advantage of a good opportunity, I walked a quick fourteenblocks to hop on the L train at First Avenue, and arrived just asBrilliant Colors began to play. I remember looking up at the stageand thinking that the lead singer was weirdly effeminate for a man,but after a while (and certainly once this person began to sing) I realizedthat it was actually an androgynous woman with an oddly British haircut. Brilliant Colors had some technicaldifficulties in starting, claiming their instruments were frozen. I suppose this might have been the case, as it was prettycold that evening and the band is used to the more mild climes of SanFrancisco. Their sunshine-infused garage jams warmed things up abit, but in all honesty I had a difficult time discerning one songfrom the next, so much so that I began listening for even subtledifferences but still couldn’t manage find any. There’s certainly something to besaid for consistency, and fans of jangly surf pop might find specialcomfort in Brilliant Colors’ repertoire though I was certainly readyfor some variety.
Roxanne, Patrick & James
Veronica Falls are cut from the same cloth as Brilliant Colors in that they also play fuzzed-out indie pop, but their music is far more catchy and varied. Their full length self-titled LP was released in September on Slumberland, but I knew very little about the band beyond the few seven-inches and some demos they’d released. I liked their cheeky lyrics and sunny sound and had assumed that they hailed from somewhere on the West Coast, but as it turns out, the four members of Veronica Falls are English. Roxanne Clifford’s vocals harken back to obscure girl groups of the 50’s and 60’s, but she is backed by vocals from drummer Patrick Doyle and guitarist James Hoare instead of beehived jivers in sequined dresses. Marion Herbain on bass rounded out the group’s energetic dynamic, though MHoW seemed less appropriate a venue for the band than a smaller, rougher space like Glasslands or even Shea Stadium or Death By Audio. Veronica Falls is the kind of band whose sound is simply better suited for the raw DIY spaces that abound in Brooklyn, which is not to say that their somewhat cutesy image is at all indicative of their sound. Elements of twee and shoegaze are certainly present, but the band is anything but shy. Their confidence pounds through every fierce beat, making them a fun band to watch on any stage.
Veronica Falls played somenew jams as well as favorites “Beachy Head”, “Found Love In AGraveyard” and “Wedding Day” and closed with an excellentrendition of “Come On Over” before encoring with a cover of RokyErikson’s “Starry Eyes”. Video below.