Almost Famous, Almost Good

Chik chiki boom, chik chiki boom. The promise of having a night consisting of sweat soaked dancing along to the reggae beat, found me this past Thursday night at one of the ‘Almost Famous’ concert series hosted by 102.7 The Peak. Billed on the Joe’s Apartment website as an intimate concert experience on Granville, this night featured last years 2nd place Peak Performance project winners; The Boom Booms as the headliner along with JP Maurice and Badgerchild. The Boom Booms consist of members Aaron Ross: Lead Vocals/Guitar, Geordie Hart: Bass/Vocals, Sean Ross: Vocals/Cavaquinho, Tom Van Deursen: Electric Guitar/Vocals, Theo Vincent: Percussion/Vocals and Richard Brinkman: Drums.

Described on their website as “organic groovemeisters that make you get up, [with] melodies that wrap around your bones,” the Boom Booms had my expectations high. Recently coming off a tour of Brazil, playing for thousands in the Amazonian city of Manaus and world-renowned Rio de Janeiro, the band “fell in love with the Brazilian music, people and culture.”

After listening to their album and most current ep, songs like ‘Crazy Flame’ with its tried and true safe grooves, falls short of artists like the Buena Vista Social Club, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Paul Simon that they are known to be inspired by.

During the show The Boom Booms performed crowd favourite ‘Lonely’ with theatrics and perfectly timed dance moves – ultimately the show just didn’t deliver.  Drummer Richard Brinkman should listen to a little more Questlove and a little less Adam Topol.

Some of the blame can be placed upon the shoulders of Joe’s Apartment with their less then desirable sound system. The rest will require The Boom Booms to dig deep within their artistic souls and find that groove.

BadgerChild opened up the night; a quartet consisting of Alex Badger, daughter of The Peak’s Tamara Stanners, Dominique Fricot one of this years Peak Performance Project top five, Rob Hardie and Blair Hansen of Good for Grapes on drums.

The show was BadgerChild’s first Vancouver performance, playing 6 songs to get the night going.

With songs that were a little slow for this venue and as an opener for the much louder JP Maurice and the energetic Boom Booms, further listening to BadgerChild is required in order to get a more rounded and complete picture.

Alex Badger’s voice is good, although it would have been nice to see her with an instrument on stage rather than just holding the mic.

It requires much courage to get up in front of people night after night and put yourself out there. However, if we hold the bar low, then we’re not challenging these artists to grow.