Although Canadians Alvvays aren’t too unfamiliar with Nottingham after releasing their self titled album in 2014 and bringing it over this side of the pond several times earlier this year, after the release of their debut album White Reaper Does It Again, this string of dates supporting the much-loved beach-pop act were their first on this side of the pond for rock ‘n’ roll four piece White Reaper.
It’s safe to say that White Reaper like things loud. Maybe that’s an understatement if anything, given their Slaves-esque reckless abandon and striking vocals punctuated by aggressive drums. After spending a year on the road across their home country of America, it’s no wonder they’ve got their live performance down to a T, harnessing their enthusiasm – so excellently condensed onto their punchy album – and unleashing it on a polite but somewhat unsuspecting filled room.
After blasting things open with unapologetic confidence, pair of singles Make Me Wanna Die and I Don’t Think She Cares keep spirits high with uplifting keys work contrasting the thick bassline and relentless riffs frontman Tony Esposito delivers alongside the nigh on deranged vocal work. And with dancing like that which keyboardist Ryan Hater provided and a dazzling light show to accompany every punch, there’s no reason to not be gripped by the ferocity and all round zest that White Reaper threw into every second of the show.
Though not a band huge on chatting with the crowd, they proved they’d enthralled those watching when it came to the set’s finale, with the closing track seeing the crowd clap along with as much enthusiasm as could be pulled out from a band gracing the isles for the first time.
As it goes for transferring a studio sound and expanding it on stage, Alvvays were the textbook guide of how-to. Indie pop at its absolute finest, frontwoman Molly Rankin’s vocals inspired the windows-down, open-road, beach poppy feel their debut album so excellently accomplished. Whilst lighter and less raucous than White Reaper, the crowd matched the enthusiasm the four piece threw at the show, namely in the form of excited, unprompted sing alongs and succumbing to temptation to sway and dance to every song.
Cascades of riffs decorated the show, with Kerri MacLellan’s keyboard work appealing to the light, delicate side of the music. Impossibly high vocals graced the closing pair of tracks, fan favourite Party Police and single Archie, Marry Me, before an encore of Kirsty MacColl’s He’s On The Beach showed how rapidly they can go from 0-60; and no song could’ve suited the band better.
Although some of Rankin’s chit-chat was a little off-beat, asking about hedgehogs, what to feed them and if it’s okay to keep them as a pet being a fine example, when it came to the usual, “who’s seen us before?” moment their was a surprising, reaction. Of the nearly packed Rescue Rooms, a mere handful had caught the Canadians at their last Nottingham show (at Bodega in January with support from Moon King), demonstrating just how much they’ve grown away from home over the past months. If they continue being this excellent, there’s no stopping them.