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Live Review: Vancouver Sleep Clinic, May 28 @ Black Bear Lodge

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on June 11, 2014

“Emma, you have to check out this band I just heard!” My friend messaged me, not an hour after I had been asked to review a gig for the same band. Vancouver Sleep Clinic has been making waves for a few months now, and although I had read a little bit about them here and there, I’d never really caught on… Until I saw them live. After playing at SXSW, and scoring support slots for London Grammar and The Naked and Famous, this young band has paved themselves a pretty good path so far – and they are only going to continue to rise.

Due to Brisbane’s appalling public transport system I missed the first support act, but all was forgotten as Wafia took to the stage. I had seen her name pop up here and there about Brisbane, but never had I actually seen her. Her band, with some impressively solid originals, and a sneakily awesome cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”, supported her dreamy vocals brilliantly. Their compelling and ethereal vibe, smooth beats and Wafia’s seriously beautiful voice work together into a pretty incredible performance – it’s no wonder they were on this tour!

After a bit too long setting up, Vancouver Sleep Clinic finally took to the stage, in front of a literally packed room. You can seen their surprise at just how many people were dead silent as they played their first few infectious tunes. At one point, frontman Tim Bettinson thanked the audience for “just being so attentive,” and frequently chatted in between songs, expressing how blown away he was. However, when they’d play, it was the crowd’s turn. Their passion for what they were doing was undeniable – the band was seamless, and I had goosebumps more often than not for the duration of the show.

Flaws and Vapour, singles from the Winter EP were highlights for me, with their overdubbed and layered brilliance floating over the bubbling electronics and simply beautiful harmonies. Their cover of Drake’sHold On We’re Going Home was a final testimony to just how impressively superb this band is. As they played their final song and thanked us all again, I found myself actually sad and thinking surely it’s not over – I immediately bought their EP and t-shirt in a desperate attempt to continue the show. If this band shows us anything, it’s how rich Australian music of all genres is at the moment, and sets the bar pretty damn high for young musicians. All bands on the bill are serious contenders in the scene now. I know I’ll be rushing out to see all of them whenever they play next. 

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