By Justin Uitto
January 9, 2015
VANCOUVER — The clearance between the ceiling vent shaft and the raised fists of a ferociously drunk, enthusiastic crowd was minimal as vocalist Leah Fay stood up on the crash gate. Anticipation and blood alcohol levels were running high on a Friday night at the Pit Pub in the heart of UBC where July Talk, an edgy blues/alt-rock band, was about to play. Their dirty four-on-the-floor sound hit hard and Peter Dreimanis, playing the guitar and accompanying with lead vocals, growled the first lines of “Blood and Honey.” Following was Leah who cooed a piercing verse that cut through the grittiness of her counterpart’s voice.
The pace of the show was maintained by a band whose identity is clear in the studio and clearer onstage. Peter and Leah’s dynamic was palpable, playing off of each other’s steamy, intense mannerisms with intimate exchanges and a cat and mouse game that lasted all night. This accompanied the unique, complimentary nature and quality of their vocal parts that is so substantial in what makes their bluesy sound interesting and modern. The testosterone-pumped college crowd was into it, but after multiple opening acts and drinks, they would eat out of anyone’s hand.
“Less selfies, more hobbies!” cried Leah, holding a thrown shoe stuffed with audience members’ cell phones. “All you guys want to do is party, don’t you?” asked Peter, wiping blood off of his face (I don’t know why his face was bleeding). The members of July Talk didn’t care and were going to do what they came here to do. They continued with popular hits such as “The Garden” which only instigated more crowd surfing and boisterousness (which Peter participated in, diving into the crowd, guitar in hand, to play a solo). At one point, Leah regrettably passed the mic to a bro in the front row that had some offensive things to say, but Leah’s faith in the crowd was redeemed when another girl simply cried into the mic, “We love you!”
When the encore was inevitably demanded, July Talk delivered the crowd favourite, “Guns + Ammunition,” followed by a stripped-down song with Ian, the guitarist, on the piano. “We are going to try something but I need you all to shut up for one song!” called Peter, prompting the audience to settle with a dull roar for the rest of the show. And with one last grumbly line, Peter raised his bottle and July Talk left the stage, concluding an unruly, sweaty night to remember (or have no recollection of).BC, British Columbia, July Talk, Pit Pub