Saturday, September 28, 2013
Wild Belle, Saint Rich and Hey V Kay @ Neurolux (9/19/13)
Some of my co-workers at the Record Exchange turned me on to Wild Belle (for a while, it made the regular rotation of CD's played over the store's stereo). I liked what I heard enough to put this show on the calendar. The chance to see Hey V Kay again was a nice little bonus (well, not so little, actually--I've put Gut Wrenching on the stereo a few times, and the listens re-convinced me of its excellence).
I counted about thirty-five people when I got to Neurolux. When Wild Belle played, I counted about eighty. And actually, the crowd might have been closer to ninety or ninety-five. A very respectable turnout.
Hey V Kay opened the show. A few songs into the set, a friend who'd never seen Karen Havey before asked me why she isn't huge in the music scene right now. I didn't have a good answer. "Middle-Class Sweetheart" and "Call It" (the song she debuted at the Crux show last June) sounded as tuneful and hook-laden as I remembered, and Havey's gorgeous vocals did well both by them and by her older songs. Not only did my friend get to hear Havey's "Wicked Game" cover, she got to hear her "Toxic" cover too. I guess I know what to get my friend for Christmas now...
Saint Rich, a five-man band from New Jersey, played next. I came up with two different ways of describing this group's mix of ringing guitars, slinky rhythms and nasally, deadpan vocals. The first is a sweeter, friendlier Strokes. The second is a less interesting Soft White Sixties. Which one you prefer will probably depend on your affection for 60's hard rock (and possibly for Delicate Steve, two of whose members are in this group).
Wild Belle closed out the show. Whenever one of my co-workers plays something... not quite to my taste, shall we say, I just try to remember the good stuff that they've introduced me to. Like this, for instance. This Chicago group's blend of skanking reggae grooves and sunny, soothing pop fit together like rum and Coke. Natalie Bergman's honeyed, lightly smoked vocals topped it all off. The dance floor was packed and bubbling for the entire set.
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Neurolux and the Record Exchange.