YOU SAY PARTY
YOU SAY PARTY @ The Captain’s Rest, Glasgow – 4th December 2010
Formerly known as YOU SAY PARTY! WE SAY DIE! the Vancouver New Wave / Now Wave band should perhaps have changed their name to YOU SAY PARTY, WE’LL BE THERE! For in spite of the blanket snow that has covered UK for the past week, these five intrepid Canucks (hope that’s ‘good’ slang and not offensive – sorry guys if it is!) have managed to travel from Sheffield to Manchester and then earlier today, from Manchester to Glasgow to play the show.
That effort and commitment takes on added significance when it dawns that neither of the two support acts were prepared / able to travel. So it’s a one one-band show tonight.
Who cares, though! YOU SAY PARTY do know how to ‘party’ and they take the stage to a disturbingly low crowd at around 10pm. The small crowd – likely also a result of the recent inclement weather – doesn’t faze the band, however. As bassist Stephen O’Shea later commented:
“You’ve gotta bear in mind that we’ve been away from UK for about three years and it’s a bit like starting over again.”
This is certainly true; both in the sense of re-establishing their rightful place at the top of the underground music scene, and also considering that two thirds of the band are ‘new.’ Following the tragic death of drummer Devon Clifford back in April, Al Boyle has been recruited to brandish the sticks while Robert Andow replaces Krista Loewen on keyboards.
And it is this newfound enthusiasm spawned from new beginnings that so positively propels the band throughout their arduous six-week European tour, culminating with eleven dates in the UK.
Opening with ‘There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)’ YOU SAY PARTY play for about an hour, enthralling the audience with a mix of dance inducing, swathes of synth, New Wave punk and classic, laid back vibes. The set naturally concentrates more on the latest album ‘XXXX’ but also spans the two earlier long players with the likes of ‘Stockholm Syndrome 2’ ‘Downtown Mayor’s Goodnight’ and ‘Monster’ also included.
But it is immediately following the wonderfully beat-laden, moody and slightly dark sounding ‘XXXX Loyalty’ that we are presented with a lovely, touching gesture, as vocalist Becky strikes a light in memory of the dear departed Devon.
“Every night, we light a flame for our dear friend Devon Clifford who is no longer with us in this world, but is still with us every night. We love you Devon”
Simple and poignant. Sometimes moments like these seem a bit self-indulgent – almost like they’re part of the stage show. But this was heart-felt, genuine and actually quite beautiful.
The set-list showed that ‘Dark Days’ was to follow, but perhaps it was not felt apt to include it at this point and an unfamiliar song (to me at least) followed – with ‘Dark Days’ tagging onto the end of that.
There then followed a couple of new songs, back to back. The first has the initials ‘HH’ and is a mid-tempo, groove-loaded track with Becky’s voice so full of expression and no little power. The second of these two has the word ‘Many’ in the title (I really should have asked, shouldn’t I …?!) This one has a more scuzzy, and yet also seductive feel to it, with a slower pace and more emphasis placed on the synths. This is the better of the two and quite ‘instant’ in that it has the crowd bustin’ some shapes, when it’s not even been heard previously.
‘Monster’ follows from the ‘Lose All Time’ album before the superb ‘Laura Palmer’s Prom’ is given an airing – see below.
The ‘encore’ then follows with a simple announcement from Stephen that there’s no need for the bullshit of walking off stage only to reappear and play another couple of numbers. And forgoing the hand-written set list, they play a DULOKS number – the punky ‘Suck It’ a cover of which they recently did on a split 7” with the London based female mentalists.
Final song of the evening is the fast, aggressive and shouted ‘Like I Give A Care’ – a fabulously upbeat manner in which to finish the show.
YOU SAY PARTY have bounced back in incredible fashion after a period during which they seriously questioned the merits of continuing as a band. With a long awaited tour of the US in the pipeline for 2011, you can be sure that when they next return to these shores, there will be a helluva lot more people wanting to party along with them.