The Autumn Portrait new video and show review
Review of The Autumn Portrait video release party at the Railway
By Oswaldo Perez
Photography Stephanie Bentzen
It was Saturday after a big Friday, I spent Friday night at the Latin Cabaret at the Waldorf plus I was sick with a flu, so you can imagine the physical state that I was in. Nevertheless I wanted to check out the bands playing that night at the Railway. We didn’t make it for the Broken Condom Babies, they just have finished their set when I got to the club.
The place was packed, people coming and going, but fortunately we managed to get a couple of chairs at the very front in the right hand corner. The second band Go For the Eyes was on tour from Calgary. They started with a rock song and suddenly their music kept evolving into something more complicated, a hybrid sound emerged pleasing friends and strangers. We were 4 of the strangers that were pleased with their performance. They say they play Circus rock, but I don´t know what that means. Their sound is a mix between pop, psychedelic, and acid punk. Too experimental to be a hard rock band, too loud for an indie pop band. They managed to create a unique sound that left everybody in Vancouver impressed. Elise Roller and Jeff Turner share the vocal responsibilities, she also plays the keyboards and he plays the guitar, Eric Syilpis on bass and Natahn Raboud on drums. The band was formed in 2008 in Alberta. Actually the drummer of the band Nathan Raboud is from Silver Lake, the town that was ravaged by the wild fire so if you are in the Calgary area check out their benefits shows.
Emerging in 2008, Go For The Eyes’ infectious stage energy exploded onto the Alberta music scene. Blessed with a DIY work ethic, and an ever-increasing fan base, the band’s unique brand of hybrid rock makes any listener want to “dub it to cassette and glue it in their tape deck.”
Next were The Autumn Portrait and the presentation of their video AWAKE. This Vancouver indie band released their first CD last year “The Design is Over” followed by a cross country tour. The AP are Freddie Mojallal on vocals and guitar, Patrick Jacobson on bass and Sean Lavoy on drums. The 5 minute video that was presented was for the song Awake. It is beautifully shot in Vancouver streets as well as the beach. The video has a country touch, with the guys even wearing western shirts, but Freddie told me the video goes in another direction “the video theme was 50’s/wonder years type stuff, but I guess it is up to the viewer to interpret it.”. The video follows a childhood love with its innocence and their games. Who doesn’t remember the butterflies that fly in your stomach when love is in the air? The song Awake has a very playful and catchy guitar, I like its uplifting message “Take my hand and walk with me, we’ll find a way” definitely their best song. It takes back me to a sunset in the beach with a loved one, so I guess its a nostalgic song or at least had that effect on me. Their set was a treat for their fans and AP looked very happy on stage. They were not as energetic as Go For the Eyes but The Autumn Portrait puts a good, professional and solid show. The vocals of Mojallal give the band a unique personality, a true vocalist with an educated voice. They added the keyboard player of Pepper Sands for part of the set and sounded pretty good so maybe we might see a new addition to the band. Their next show is on Sunday 29th at the Railway, don’t miss these hard working boys and their well crafted indie rock.
I almost left the Railway before the Pepper Sands because my body was fighting viruses, but I am glad I stayed. They hit the stage after midnight and the party continued. This was my second time watching them live and I think they are better. The vocalist dressed with black tears resembles a doll. She is Citizen A. She owns the stage when she is on it, she looked very comfortable and the band rocked the place. They have been around since 1998 and have been compared with every girl fronted band that makes pop rock or new wave. Their set was a voyage through their trajectory playing songs from their first album to their latest creations. Pepper Sands didn´t disappoint the audience. They are Citizen A : Bass & Vocals, Adam : Drums & Percussion, Jay Slye : Guitar & Percussion and Derek MacDonald : Keyboards. We even got a treat when the jamming started, A guy that might have been from the Broken Condom Babies got on stage to to a Beastie Boys song with some of the musicians of the other bands, including Citizen A on her bass. It was a great night, I grabbed a cab to take me home to my bed, during the ride I was chanting “Take my hand and walk with my we’ll find a way. We were so messed up and so afraid. Lie awake”.