16th February | Trinity
Photos: Laure Noverraz
On Friday night, Alvvays returned to Bristol to sell out the Trinity Centre, less than six months after doing the same at Thekla, unleashing an impeccable onslaught of precise and punchy songs from their excellent two albums.
Opening the show were Glaswegian four-piece, Spinning Coin who presented a muddled example of uninspiring low-fi indie-rock. Adopting the style of using two lead singers, one of whom faintly resembled Thom Yorke in appearance, and the other deploying a pale imitation of Felix White’s vocals, the band lacked direction with their performance and often sounded as though they were playing multiple different songs at once. The snappy ‘Raining on Hope Street’ did offer some promise, however this was a predominantly forgettable performance.
Having taken to the stage against a crescendo of excitement, the main act opened with the direct ‘Hey’ from 2017 release Antisocialites before launching into early favourite ‘Adult Diversion’, the crowd already bouncing joyfully. Lead vocalist, Molly Rankin then charmed the crowd, introducing the jet-lagged band before reminiscing about their last trip to the city, the time that they played: “The boat with no WiFi.”
Pleasantries dealt with, the Canadians showcased more of their newer material in the form of the dreamy ‘In Undertow’, the feisty ‘Plimsoll Punks’ and the measured ‘Lollipop (Ode to Jim).’ The latter demonstrated the band’s ability to combine playful frivolities (the song is inspired by Jim Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain) with emotional acuteness, here in the form of intelligent romanticism: “You’re a lollipop in the form of a lightning bolt.”
The quintet proceeded to hurtle through a large chunk of their back catalogue, without the faintest hint of a blemish on display, highlighting the impact of their work thus far. Midway through the set, Rankin expressed her dismay at the group’s poor purchase of a backing screen that had turned up in multiple small pieces, yet this did not detract from the beauty of the stunning lighting display, a great, fuzzy haze of technicolour flickering across the stage like something from a Stanley Kubrick film.
Finishing with the stand-out song ‘Dreams Tonite’, before returning for an encore of first single ‘Next Of Kin’, it is apparent that Alvvays have a large, devoted following in Bristol as they have been found to have throughout the world and the music industry. In their performance they successfully offered an amplified take on their songs, whilst maintaining the pristine gloss on each, proving themselves to be an act who have already reached lofty heights, yet are still on the up.