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Alex Cameron ‘takes care of business’ at packed Imperial show

Alex Cameron at the Imperial, 2/27/18

A packed-out crowd at Vancouver’s Imperial venue enjoyed an entertaining, if not slightly improvised performance from Alex Cameron on Tuesday night (Feb. 27).

This show marked something of a milestone for Cameron. As he proudly announced to the adulation of the Vancouver audience, this was the most tickets he has ever sold for one of his shows after 10 challenging years in the business. It is a testament to the steps he has recently taken in the industry, having been relatively unknown only a year ago. Much of his success is down to his excellent new album Forced Witness, which was released in September.  

Cameron was joined on stage by his ‘business partner’ and faithful companion, saxophonist Roy Molloy, along with Holiday Sidewinder on keys and opener Jack Ladder playing electric guitar. There was a lot of love for Molloy in particular, who perhaps got the biggest cheers of the night, jamming away on his beaten-up saxophone.

Adopting a new trimmed-back hairstyle, signature skinny jeans and tight vest combination, Cameron opened with the lively hit “Studmuffin96.” His dance moves were soon in full flow, jigging stealthily around the stage while he stared intently into the expectant audience. His distinct powerful tones were perfect for the ambience of the Imperial.

Unfortunately, Cameron was hampered by technical issues throughout the show. He was forced to restart one of his most popular songs, “Candy May,” and ended up ditching his guitar for the remainder of the show. He used the opportunity to remark on the oddly-placed Chinese architecture in the room, but the mishaps did affect his usual groove and flow. While he was definitely flustered, Cameron recovered well to deliver other songs “Politics of Love,” “Runnin’ Outta Luck” and “Stranger’s Kiss” off his new record.

“Marlon Brando,” a song Cameron described as his answer to the problems of straight white men in modern society, was certainly the highlight of the performance. Cameron sung “Girl, I guess I just want you to be with me, I want you to say that my hair looks nice and my face has a Beckham-like quality,” which is quintessential of the wit and dark comedy that tends to be a theme in all his music.

Cameron left his fans with old-time classic “Take Care of Business” – the last number on first record Jumping the Shark – not necessarily the show-stopping ending many might have expected. A slow and mysterious ballad confirms that Cameron still wants to be seen as an unpredictable mystery act and that he has not completely given into the mainstream just yet.