Saturday, May 07, 2016

PIGGY and Sexy Decoy farewell gigs: a night at the Astoria

Sexy Decoy at the Astoria last night: a so-bad-it's-kinda-good shot by Allan MacInnis

So that's why the Astoria is popular these days: it's been cleaned up nicely, has a decent PA, and is altogether a pleasant place to see a gig! Ron Reyes was speculating that they'd changed the stage, and I think photos confirm it: it's lower to the ground and sticks further out than the time I saw Bison spinoff Scarebro (now Oldage) there, a few years ago, where it seemed weirdly high up (not so much so that James Farwell couldn't leap down, but still...).

Anyhow, I was glad to make it to the gig last night, even if I didn't see it all. Had a beer with a friend, chatted with Ron Reyes a bit (and Pinto Stiletto and Nick from Gnash Rambler and LGA and Aging Youth Gang and Huskee Dudes) and enjoyed what I did see of the music. I didn't catch a lot of the first band, Scotty P and the Virgins, I think it was, because I was socializing for part of it, and their first few songs seemed a bit too primitive (including one that kinda ripped a riff from "Cat Scratch Fever") for my liking; by the time they finished their set, the lead guitarist had loosened up and was doing some enjoyable soloing, but I still didn't have a good view... Spring Breaks, the second act, were a great, fun, tight, and speedy power pop/ punk band, female-fronted and punch-packin', with a good dose of Ramones (by way of the Dishrags) in their music. I think they'll do well! I had never seen Sexy Decoy before, and enjoyed their stage presence. Another female-fronted band: there are a LOT of women in the punk scene in Vancouver, which is great to see. Their songs sort of reminded me of the Little Guitar Army, though maybe not quite as momentous; still, a fun band, calling it quits after three years. Glad I got to see them once.

Ron Reyes had remarked of Spring Breaks that they were "scary tight," compared to PIGGY, who were "loose," but he picked the perfect note to begin PIGGY's farewell: a cover of the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog," a song he tells me he has a long history with, since every band he's been in has played it. It was chaotic, but great (and I did shoot some video of it, which I will someday upload). Former vocalist Izzy Gibson then joined for a few songs, giving an energetic delivery that made me wish I'd caught PIGGY back in her day, too, at least once.

Alas, things started to go wrong for me - not for PIGGY - when Ange Trash began her portion of the set. Some odd dude wouldn't stop talking at me about my t-shirt (a Nomeansno Kill Everyone Now shirt; I gestured at him that I could not hear him, didn't want to talk, wanted to watch the band - because the one thing I hate more than people talking when a band is playing is PEOPLE TALKING AT ME). I can't tell if he was drunk or stoned or socially maladapted, but he wouldn't take my clear signals, until I finally got frustrated and picked up my bag and walked away from him. Sadly, I ended up behind another irritation: a couple of girls who were posing for photos for some guy, who somehow kept getting me in their background. I kept trying to move out of their way, but they seemed to want at least a half dozen photos of the two of them together, and no matter where I moved, I seemed to be in the picture (it didn't bother them but it was annoying me). At that point, I checked my phone and saw that if I left soon I could catch the last Skytrain back to Burnaby, and be home in bed with my girl an hour earlier than if I took the drunk bus down Main.

So that's what I did. It was a fun night, though! Sorry not to see PIGGY right to the very end, but I was VERY happy to have been there at all. (And the beer was great, and the Astoria veggie burger is plenty tasty, fyi).

Kid Congo tonight!

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