8:45pm-9:15pm Duck Duck Grey Duck
The first opening act of the night is Duck Duck Grey Duck, a blues-rock band from Geneva. I saw them during the Summer at the Nuit des images at the Musée de l’Elysée and already there they struck me with their positive mix of blues and rock ’n’ roll sounds. Back then they played an acoustic set in the afternoon and an electric gig at night.
Tonight at Les Docks they present their first album Here come… (2015), which is full of blues rock sounds and electric guitars. Live it sounds even more rock ’n’ roll and psychedelic. Singer Robin Girod can sing in the low notes range as well as in the high one and whistles along in some of the songs, giving it that lightheartedness touch. The second song they play is “Mama Don’t Mind”, an attractive mix of sounds where the guitar riffs blend with the drums beats.
They also play an instrumental song, with only vocalises and in which the sounds become psychedelic and beautifully distorted. They delight the public with the positive vibes and sunny notes of their single “Mexico”, in which the sounds and lyrics seem to truly take you into a cool journey. They are playing the starting notes of the last song when they suddenly stop because the sound engineers cut the sidetone of the microphone, time’s up! Too bad because the song sounded really cool and the audience would have liked to hear more! Good reason to keep an ear on them and catch them at another gig!
9:30pm-10pm Theo Verney
The second opening act of the night is British rocker Theo Verney accompanied on stage by his band. The gig starts with a powerful sort of drums solo which Theo Verney joins in with his electric guitar.
His track “Mountain Rose” is pretty melodic and fast, it unfolds then into an heavier mode including a guitar solo. He plays a song called “Wake Me Softly” which is actually pretty loud and weirdly clashes with its title.
On the bill there’s also a really cool danceable song in which the audience gets the moves. Most of his songs start pretty softly and then get louder with the drums’ beats and the harsh riffs building up. His rock sounds agressive and loud. Distorted sounds and psychedelic sounds shape up to take you in another musical dimension.
10:40pm-12:20am Two Gallants
As the two members of the California band Two Gallants, singer and guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel, come on stage the notes of the radio music are still filling the venue. The setting of the stage is very simple but effective, a white sheet covers the background and changes colour depending on the lights.
Two Gallants make the audience feel comfortable and at ease from the first note they play. The singer plays simultaneously the harmonica and acoustic guitar, which both give that irresistible folk touch to their music as the drums softly comes in. It always impresses me when I see a duo able to make such great music, with most of the time two instruments.
They play many songs taken from their last record We Are Undone (2015) like “Fools Like Us”, a tune that live sounds even more aggressive than on the album with the drums dictating the beat and the guitar riffs blending in with them. Adam Stephens’ beautiful elastic voicetakes you back in time and just matches perfectly with their sound. They play the darker tune “Some Trouble” which starts with a rather quiet ramble of the drums, the guitar joins in quietly to dictate and anticipate the captivating rhythm of the refrain. In “We Are Undone”, before the voice comes in, drums and guitar seem to respond to each other in a sort of question and answer. Great to observe and listen to.
They play some old songs too, one of which dates back of ten years, the drummer comments saying that that was probably the last time they’d been to Lausanne. There is space for some precious moments of quietness with ballads like “My Man Go”. In “Despite What You’ve Been Told” the singer’s voice gets more high-pitched as the drummer delicately bangs the cymbals.
During the encore they play “Broken Eyes”, a beautiful song where the singer plays the classic guitar and harmonica while the drummer plays the bells and does the backing vocals. Back to some more rock sounds with their new single “Incidental” before bidding goodbye to the audience with “Waves Of Grain”, a long folk ballad where drums and harmonica chase each other creating a brilliant spiral of sounds.
My Love Won’t Wait
We Are Undone
My Man Go
The Prodigal Son
Reflections of the Marionette
Fail Hard to Regain
Las Cruces Jail
Despite What You’ve Been Told
Fools Like Us
Broken Eyes (encore)
Waves Of Grain (encore)