Tokyo Police Club spreads infectious music at CTO

Band is now too big for small stage

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Tokyo Police Club

Justin Wu

LIKE SAND THROUGH THE HOURGLASS, SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Tokyo Police Club lead singer and guitarist Dave Monks waits to go onstage Tuesday night.

Tokyo Police Club has played in London seven times since its EP release, A Lesson in Crime, two years ago. Tuesday’s performance at Call The Office could be the band’s last appearance at the venue: TPC has simply become too big for a stage this small.

With a lineup for tickets stretching around the corner, TPC has obviously struck a nerve somewhere in the musical consciousness. Hopefully the band’s hype doesn’t overwhelm its talent, especially when TPC hasn’t even released a full album yet.

Although the band members have gotten older since they first hit the CTO stage, their enthusiasm hasn’t faded. Despite the absence of guitarist Josh Hook for personal reasons, the band still brought its infectious post-punk to the stage with a flurry of handclaps and tightly wound two-minute shout-alongs the audience seemed to know all the words to.

Local opener the Knaves has obviously paid attention to how it looks on stage, but it might have wanted to follow TPC’s lead when it came to the music.

Lacking strong hooks to pull in a wary audience, the band at times resembled a local high school collective banging out a few Sloan or Strokes covers in the garage, pausing from time to time to check their hair or adjust a jacket collar. While this group obviously has an understanding of all the elements, the recipe it has developed hasn’t revealed any substance so far.

Second on the bill, Will Currie and the Country French was a breath of fresh air in a sweaty room. The Waterloo-based band’s piano driven pop is difficult to ignore, but thankfully it’s surprisingly catchy. While not pounding any of the keys into dust, the band’s relaxed attitude and suspiciously sunny pop confections were easy to swallow.

Tokyo Police Club took the stage around midnight. With a mixture of old songs from its first two EPs and new material from next month’s Elephant Shell album, TPC kept the kids up way past their bedtime.

Older songs like “Nature of the Experiment” and “Shoulders and Arms” became classic sing-along material, while the newer songs retained the hooks and breathless energy the band is known for.

TPC has proven to be a powerful headliner in London. Compared to past performances, the group’s confidence has grown immensely.

Hopefully the next time the band hits town, its fans will still be able to get tickets.

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