Alvvays certainly weren’t immune to the charms of the unconventional venue.
If there’s a better spot in Bristol to take in a gig than the balcony of Thekla, you’d be hard pressed to find it. If you get there early enough you can grab a prime seat that’s hardly ever packed and pretending to lord it over the plebs below never gets old. It’s also a fact that the novelty of playing on a ship is one never lost on non-local bands, and Nova-Scotian Alvvays certainly weren’t immune to the charms of the unconventional venue. In fact, they seemed charmed by it all: they loved the waterfront, the audience, they even seemed to be a bit in love with each other. But did the audience love them back?
The view from the crow’s nest confirmed it- a constant stream of polite, head-bobbing appreciation floated up in from the deck, and it wasn’t long ‘til the chords of certified earworm of 2014 ‘Marry Me, Archie’ got the crowd really going. Well, as much as Alvvays’ bittersweet jangly indie pop allows. The song really is undeniably infectious, and soon THAT chorus (‘HEY, HEY, MARRY ME ARCHIE-EEE’) was echoing around the rigging, and everyone bobbed their heads so much they almost fell off.
With this in the bag, and successfully toeing the line of ‘too-sweet’ or ‘over-twee’, Alvvays continued to charm the pants off us all. Heartbreaker ‘Party Police’ was another highlight. Driven by fuzzy keyboard and that weird guitar-duelling dance that two guitarists sometimes do, it injected the kind of heart-stopping drama you’d pay to see again and again.
At the end of the show lead Molly Rankin tells us they’d ‘love to come back’, and involuntarily the audience as one seem to choke back an over-keen cry of ‘GOD, YEAH, THAT WOULD BE GREAT, you could all stay at mine and I’ll cook you all a roast’. But we don’t say that. We just say goodbye, and cry a single silver tear, and wish and hope Alvvays will come back soon.
Check out the video for ‘Archie, Marry Me’ right here: