Concert Review: GRAHAM WRIGHT, THE FABULOUS YAWN (2012-05-11 @ The Placebo Space)
SPENCER MACEACHERN AND THE FABULOUS YAWN hit the makeshift carpet of a stage at The Placebo Space (also known as Placebo Art Gallery) on May 11th, in celebration of the Canadian release of Paris-based magazine Her Royal Majesty’s 12th issue.
This Toronto-based act ranges from a solo gig to a quintet of musical gems and regularly rotates members with frontman/mastermind Spencer MacEachern leading the project, and friends Graham Wright and David Monks (both of TOKYO POLICE CLUB), Feurd Ian Robertson Moore (of THE ELWINS), and Harrison Forsyth joining in.
The apartment-turned-art-gallery-turned-venue created an ambiance of intimacy and comfort as soon as I walked in. It was the size of an average apartment, but not so average surroundings. The bar was the counter of the apartment’s kitchenette, and no single wall was left without a piece of modern artwork. The ground-level wood stump coffee tables encouraged the (give or take) 30 shoeless attendees to sit, laugh, and enjoy the show.
GRAHAM WRIGHT started off the set with three original songs. With a combination of the most colourful lighting I’ve ever seen, the modern art backdrop, and of course, Graham’s angelic voice, the audience sat and listened to the soothing tunes – many couldn’t help but wiggle their toes to the rhythm, and surely had their ears and eyes satisfied by the performance.
Spencer and Feurd soon joined in starting off THE FABULOUS YAWN’s set, playing some ‘newies’, and ‘not-so-oldies’ (since the full band really only solidified recently). The whole set was mostly acoustic, with the exception of Dolphins, an electronic sample off a record Spencer has been working on.
With such a petite, attentive crowd, and Spencer singing lines like “I go down on you, to change the subject”, one could hear the audience let out a long laugh; judging by their smirks, they may have been thinking “been there, done that, but I’d never say it”. Who knows though if that tune, Honest Love Song #17, holds any true chronological order to its title.
While listening to Spencer sing, I’m sure that I wasn’t alone feeling a warming of the heart, and showing it through a pleasant smile – in fact, Feurd’s own blissful facial expressions never faded away. The melodies were harmonious, and extremely well-executed, and in the end the audience shouted for more – but once the guitar straps were off, the show was over.
Hearing music like this makes me wish that I were capable of playing an instrument other than shakers – or at least that I had guitarists at my disposal to serenade me around the clock. Though this particular apartment/gallery/venue has closed its doors for good, Placebo promises a future re-opening at a different location. Thankfully, my first (and last) time at The Placebo Space was a great one thanks to the ‘fabulous’ tunes played that night.