The much-anticipated July Talk show at Petit Campus lived up to the hype—this is a high-energy, no-holds-barred band who, if they play their cards right, may be headed for greatness.
With one album under their belts, July Talk has already made quite a name for themselves. The packed Tuesday-night crowd gladly went along with front-man Peter Dreimanis’s request to pretend it was really Saturday. The more enthusiastic among them were barely able to refrain from reaching out to touch the beautiful and quirky Leah Fay. And she played it well, pouring her beer into the mouths of admirers, requesting a make-out session from a couple in the audience, bending over backwards—literally!—for the sake of a good show.
After the first couple of (lesser-known) tunes, Leah and Peter started to quietly hum the refrain from Guns and Ammunition, the song that’s getting the most airplay. It was like holding a doggie treat just out of reach of a starving dog—the crowd joined in and obviously wanted more, and the band of course obliged. The pulsating rhythms and Peter’s growling refrains got the party started. Leah, who had by then lost one of her shoes, along with her dollar-store tiara, staggered around the stage like a drunk zombie, while Peter repeatedly hit himself in the face like her retarded zombie lover.
The interactions between Peter and Leah were endearing… for a while. I think they may need to tone down the Jack White glares and Tom Waits stares or at least change them up a little; likewise, I hope their new album offers a little more variety in the sound. I think July Talk runs the risk of getting stuck in a rut—a really great rut, but a rut nonetheless. I have faith, however, that this creative combo will branch out and grow their sound and their stage show. The potential is there—the other three members—Ian Docherty on guitar, Josh Warburton on bass, and Danny Miles on drums—are fantastic musicians, the playing is tight, and Peter and Leah do have a good onstage thing going on. Along with Guns and Ammunition, We’ve Rationed Well and especially Paper Girl were the highlights of the show.
Finally a shout-out to the opening band, Sam Cash and the Romantic Dogs. Their well-grounded rock ‘n’ roll, while perhaps a tad generic, was well-rehearsed, the playing was intelligent, the songs are good, and they’re cute to boot.