Curious how things work out sometimes. Friday, January 15 was supposed to be all about Adam Franklin and Bolts of Melody blowing people away at The Rogue in Scottsdale. A good set, but I am still reeling from an even better set by one of the openers, the Valley of the Sun’s own Source Victoria. Where the heck have I been that I have not seen these guys until this show?
I am a huge fan of dream pop, if some of my reviews have not clued you in to that fact already. More important, any band that would list Elbow as an influence automatically warrants my attention. I did not know this about Source Victoria when the show started.
The five members of Source Victoria strode onstage around 10:00pm. I really do enjoy watching local musicians when the opportunity presents itself, because I never know when I am going to come across a diamond in the rough. Personally, I have felt the music scene in Phoenix and its outlying areas have been a little lacking since the heyday of the college guitar rock scene of the late 80’s and early 90’s with bands such as Dead Hot Workshop, Gin Blossoms, Feedbags and Live Nudes.
The dream pop scene has seen its share of quality Arizona bands over the years, with Half String, The Captives and Echo Chamber immediately coming to mind. Looking at the members of Source Victoria and hearing them tune up, I was not expecting that type of sound to come out of the speakers. More important, looking at the lead vocalist take his place onstage, I was not expecting that style of vocal delivery. Boy, was I wrong!
Personally there is nothing better in regards to live music than having absolutely no preconceptions about a band when they take the stage and little by little being drawn in to the majesty of the landscape they are painting as the show continues. That is precisely what I experienced on this evening with Source Victoria. Folks, this is a GREAT band. The band showcased well that they practice their craft as they were a tight unit. The guitars shimmer, reminiscent of classic Britpop guitar sound, the keyboard playing complements the sound very well, the rhythm section keeps the groove going in each song, and the vocal style had a subtle, but powerful edge to it.
Source Victoria is a band I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone reading this and especially to anyone in the Phoenix area. Good local talent is tough to come by, so when I find a band possessing a great sound that encourages me to get out to the clubs in the area and follow their progression.
I had a chance to talk with lead singer Brendan Murphy after the show and what an affable, sincere individual he is! How refreshing it is to meet a musician that possesses none of the rock-star ego that plagues so many artists. I received a copy of the band’s CD The Fast Escape from him and listened to the first five of the nine songs on the disc on the drive home. Brendan, you told me if I like the disc to come see you guys again. No brainer my friend. Folks, join me at the Yucca Tap Room on Saturday, January 30 when the band is sure to deliver another fine set of classic dream pop.
My friends, give me a couple of days to really listen to the disc and I will post a review of it. Until then check out the link to their MySpace page that I provided at the beginning of the post.