Handsome Furs

Date: 4 June 2009
Venue: Richard’s on Richards
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Richard’s on Richards is one of the few remaining Vancouver concert locations that can still boast decent sound and a good atmosphere. Hosting everything from acoustic shows to electronic rock, Richard’s on Richards was home to Handsome Furs on Thursday night, who lean towards the latter end of this spectrum. Handsome Furs are from Montreal, Quebec, and serve as another reminder of the wide range of diverse music that Canada has to offer the world.

I’d like to say that you can tell a lot about a band by the one that opens for them, but that would be a dirty lie. Johnny and the Moon is accompanied by Jon Middleton (of Jon and Roy) on the bass. The lead singer looks a little like Jerry Seinfeld; a distant cousin, perhaps. Their music was not particularly original, but it was a cute set. Anything involving Jon Middleton has a sun-kissed, beach/hippie/reggae vibe that is easy-going and carefree, and he delivered in this band as he has both on his own, and with Jon and Roy. The lead singer openly admitted that the band hadn’t played together in a long time, but they sounded like they had at least been practising. They played a song about a little red cat, but their lyrics were not as clear as I’d like. They have intrigued me, and I’d like to hear them in a quieter setting.

A self-described “indie” band, Handsome Furs combines energetic, electronic beats with compelling, emotional guitar to create upbeat music that still speaks to the soul. Think of a combination of the variety and quirky music of Mother Mother and the electronic, upbeat music of The Ting Tings, and yet still a very original set of music that manages to achieve many layers of emotional connection with the audience. Whether you’re looking to experience new music or just dance your heart out, a live performance by Handsome Furs is bound to facilitate both. Listen to their music and you’ll understand the appeal of Handsome Furs; eccentric and fun without being too weird for a new listener. They have a great time during their show, and make sure that you do too. Their stage demeanour proves that they love and appreciate their fans, a very important aspect of any band at any level of success.

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