The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (live in The Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver)

Review Snapshot: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart put on a great show, marred only slightly by some odd song choices. The fun noise pop of the album translated excellently to their live show. Their debut is still one of my most highly recommended albums of the year thus far, and they did not disappoint in concert.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review:
In a rather regal basement in an old hotel on the outskirts of downtown Vancouver, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart delighted and exhilarated the near-capacity crowd with their brand of indie pop. The ceilings are low and the bar sells cans. There are rugs on the floor and stag heads on the wall. The venue holds the atmosphere perfectly. The band took to the stage at eleven to greet their audience, already primed by the excellent Girls. They opened, oddly, on a track off their lesser known debut EP, leaving the crowd rather subdued until they rolled into the opening drum beat of ‘Young Adult Friction’. In an instant the crowd went wild. This frenzy rarely dampened throughout the show

The band has many of the ingredients required for a successful indie band. They hail from New York. They have an Asian girl on keyboards, a hot guitarist sporting a grungy Nirvana t-shirt and floppy hair-do and a slightly nerdy bassist. They played naturally and with great verve, with each member having more than enough presence to be capable of holding a stage by themselves. ‘This Love Is F*cking Right’ and ‘Come Saturday’ receive the rapturous reaction as expected. Judging by the response of the audience in the Biltmore Cabaret, I would expect to see their eponymous debut album reaching the higher ranks of end of year lists.

Pains also treated the crowd to new tracks that they have written for a forthcoming EP. They follow much of the same style as the previous releases, but when it sounds so glorious, I am not complaining one bit.

The show did suffer from some odd setlist selections. Both ‘Contender’ and ‘Hey Paul’ were glaring omissions, and ending on the relatively subdued ‘Teenager In Love’ was an odd decision. Nevertheless, these mistakes are bred from inexperience. What I witnessed that night was a young band with the world at its feet; a band with bags of potential and songs to soundtrack many summers ahead.

Garret Cleland

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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.