Gig review: Alvvays at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Alvvays
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Alvvays have just finished playing their breakthrough single, ‘Archie, Marry Me’, when a member of the audience shouts out, “That’s my name!”

It’s the kind of affectionate heckle the Toronto five-piece will have to get used to receiving, having sold out the Brudenell on the back of their debut self-titled album. Full of songs that soundtrack college romances and summer heartbreak, it’s an affinity to C86 jangle pop that’s sealed by singing guitarist Molly Rankin wearing a faded Morrissey T-shirt.

This old-fashioned indie-pop would have seen them signed to Sarah Records if they’d been around twenty years ago but, picking through similar twinkly guitar influences, their most transparent reference is Camera Obscura on ‘Next Of Kin’ and ‘The Agency Group’.

When they crank up the guitars and go all swoony shoegaze on ‘Your Type’ and ‘Underneath Us’, meanwhile, they could be writing hits for Veronica Falls. It’s this love of gentle feedback and melodic post-punk guitars that’s most obvious in their two cover versions, which add flesh to a still small back catalogue.

Their version of Deerhunter’s ‘Nosebleed’ is indebted to The Buzzcocks while their encore of The Primitives’ ‘Out Of Reach’, which starts with just Phil MacIsaac thumping out a drum pattern while the other band members re-join him on stage, is a sugar coated bomb.

It’s the perfect track to sum up a set of melancholy, sun kissed melodies that make up for their lack of musical originality with plenty of charm and indier-than-thou attention to detail.

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