The Blue Van
Orlando, FL • Sept. 29, 2006
I’d never listened to either Aberdeen City or The Blue Van before deciding to check out their live show. Like millions of music lovers across the globe, in this, our Internet Age, I was going strictly by the few songs sampled on their MySpace pages. The bands were on the bill to open for Electric Six (whom I didn’t stay for because it was inching ever further past the Witching Hour and I- unfortunately- had to work early the next morning), so I figured they couldn’t be all bad.
Denmark’s Indie/Psychedelic/Garage quartet The Blue Van made my trek downtown on a loathsome, crowded Friday night well worth it. Vocalist Steffen Westmark has got a soulful howl that bursts out from behind his shaggy hair-in-the-face Cobain mannerisms that, when coupled with Soren Christensen’s haunting organ sounds, call to mind The Doors. Bassist Allan Villadsen is a 6 ft. tall pogo stick that bounces off the floor, the organ stand, the speaker stack- whatever will hold his lanky frame for the seconds it takes to leap off. Boundless energy, coupled with retro tunes, updated for the post-grunge generation.
Before Aberdeen City appears, I’m struck by the high quotient of frat boys in the crowd. Polo shirts, baseball caps, sandals, and holier-than-thou attitudes. Yeah, not fun. At least once the band began playing I couldn’t hear their whiney complaints about their underage friends getting kicked out for drinking.
Boston’s Aberdeen City have Interpol tendencies- which means Joy Division, of course- and I’m fine with that. Frontman Brad Parker has got a voice that entrances, and the band’s sound is U2-esque in scope. It also doesn’t hurt the band’s shot at success that guitarist Chris McLaughlin has got the looks of a Stroke. The band runs through pretty much every track of their debut release The Freezing Atlantic and then ends the set with a chaotic clusterfuck of feedback and convulsing. By the near fanatic reaction from the crowd, I’d say we’ve got a next-big-thing on our hands.
To see more photos of this and other shows go to www.jencray.com.