Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs concert review

My review of Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, with photo by Carlos Hernandez Fisher, for Exclaim!

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs
The Media Club, Vancouver BC April 21

By Andrea Warner

There's something genuinely magical about the rockabilly pairing of the baby-voiced Brit Holly Golightly and the southern drawl of one-man-band, Lawyer Dave. As soon as the duo, known as Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, hit the Vancouver's Media Club stage, their charming banter was a ceaseless volley of hilarious observations and stories, one-off complaints, and jokes that stumbled back and forth on the line of good taste. It was a perfect complement to their set: 16 songs, most oil-well deep with a rich narrative structure, many of which make you smile as often as they make you want to dance.

Lawyer Dave braced the crowd in advance of the second song, half-joking, "We love guns," before launching into the catchy-but-country-crazy domestic violence ditty, "My 45," a call-and-answer riff on each of them threatening to kill the other. Staying true to that theme, they moved on to "You Can't Buy a Gun When You're Crying" before Lawyer Dave asked, "Y'all got goth kids here? We're trying to break into the goth wedding cruise market." A brief story about the true origins of their goth friends' wedding on a cruise preceded "Devil Do," a tongue-in-cheek lament about how nobody's love can match Satan's devotion.

Throughout the evening, Holly played guitar and sang, her trademark voice continuing to channel a 1930s recording, never more effective than on the lovely encore, "Black Night," or when revealing she has a baby goat at home. The audience stopped laughing and dancing long enough to actually respond with a collective, "Awww." And she gamely served as straight-man to Lawyer Dave throughout, creating a perfect living definition of partnership before the crowd's eyes.

Incidentally, Lawyer Dave might possess Guinness World Records multitasking skills, rigging up a partial drum kit, complete with plastic milk crate, to be played entirely by his feet while he plays guitar, sings and cracks wise. About halfway through the show, as he struggled for a few minutes with his guitar, he casually offered, "It's about this point in the set people realize we're not DJs... no such thing as smooth transitions between songs, not when this guitar's kinda an asshole."

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