City Slang: Le Voyage warms up the Magic Stick

March 14, 2014


This last snowstorm was a kick in the balls, wasn’t it? March arrived, we had a few days of sun, the birds started to sing and it even began to smell like spring, and then BOOM. Ball-kick. God willing, the worst is behind us but still, as we walked into the Magic Stick on Thursday night, snow was falling again, and it was fucking freezing.


Maybe that’s why opening band Ready, Set, Rendezvous had such a light crowd. They came in from Livonia and brought a few friends with them, and those friends (and a couple of parents) pretty much made up the crowd. It could also be that they’re very young and so haven’t been around too long. Still, the early signs are good. The band plays hard and fast pop-punk, with an emotional edge. The hooks are large, and the band is tight. Ones to watch.


Nigel & the Drop Out is a very different act. This two piece blends garage rock with electronica, resulting in a full, clattering noise that is challenging yet oddly accessible. The keyboard and drum set-up is visually appealing and unusual and the songs are catchier than they first appear.


Moon Walks are initially less interesting than anything that came before, but as they warm up, that changes. Essentially, the band plays psychedelic space rock, but it’s intriguing that they have a female rhythm section that includes a girl in a Velvet Underground shirt determined to summon Mo Tucker’s still-living spirit by playing her drums with a blasé expression on her face. She never loses time though. The guitarist, meanwhile, is a similarly bored-faced dude who is pulling out killer riffs while staring oddly into space. It’s an odd mix, but it’s fun.


Le Voyage played last but, sadly, by the time they got up, many of those that had previously arrived have left. The band didn’t let it bother them though. In the movie Airheads the main man said that rock ’n’ roll is playing to the other bands and their girlfriends on a week night, or something like that. So Le Voyage got up and blasted through a killer set of anthemic alt-rock tunes that would sound at hoe on an arena stage. Think Muse, if the Brit singer’s voice wasn’t so damned weasel-ish.

Left the venue, and the car wasn’t covered in snow. Result.

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