HPX Day#2: Wednesday Oct 19th 2011 - DAN

Olympic Community Hall - Reflections Cabaret
The Seahorse Tavern
HPX 2011  
Writing/photography/videos by Dan Nightingale
Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2
Quaker Parents - http://quakerparents.bandcamp.com/
Quivers - http://quivers.bandcamp.com/
Sandman Viper Command - http://sandmanvipercommand.com/
Bloodhouse - http://bloodhouse.bandcamp.com/
COUSINS - http://cousinscousins.tumblr.com/
Thee Oh Sees - http://www.theeohsees.com/

In true HPX fashion I had a number of shows I hoped to hit for this night; in true Halifax tradition it was pounding rain, but the shows must go on. I started off at the Olympic Community Hall, which was decked to the nines, to catch Quaker Parents and Quivers.
Quaker Parents played a set in fine form as always, to a nice sized crowd. On the big PA their over sized pop tunes came out thick and warm, if lacking a little bit of the usual lo fi grunge. Sadly the SD card in my camera died just after snapping some great pics and video, but fortunately Noisographer Isaac caught all the action – check out his post above.
Quivers were up next, and well enthused by the size of the crowd, judging by the stage banter. With requests for “crazier lights” the band tore through their trademark garage pop songs, though with less of their frontman stage diving aspects and general shenanigans (no point throwing out your back on the second day of Pop Ex). 

Quivers - HPX Day 2

Quivers - HPX Day 2Quivers - HPX Day 2
Quivers - HPX Day 2

On the way out of the hall I stopped and scoffed a slice of Tony’s pizza and then booked it downtown to the Seahorse, where Bloodhouse were just starting their set. Once again there was a very healthy crowd, and the band drove their two chord songs into the ground with typical vigor and grim expressions. The dark and moody set was highlighted by old and new songs and very little banter.

Bloodhouse - HPX Day 2
Bloodhouse - HPX Day 2Bloodhouse - HPX Day 2

As they ended on the half hour mark, I realized that the Seahorse shows were staggered exactly with the Reflections shows, so I went back out into the rain (after confirming and getting double stamped to get back in even at capacity) and ran up the street to see what was happening.
That turned out  to be Sandman Viper Command, a scappy band who leaned heavily towards the Pop side of Pop Ex, with a healthy does of indie rock thrown in to the otherwise radio friendly vocals and catchy drum beats. Again despite the rain there was a good crowd, and it looks like the rumours that Pop Ex attendance is among the highest in years are turning out to be true.
Sandman Viper Command - HPX Day 2Sandman Viper Command - HPX Day 2

Not wanting to miss the duo-tastic Cousins, I jogged back down to Reflections as the band was starting. At first there was some confusion due to sight lines, but it seemed that the band had morphed it’s lineup a little; the former drummer turned guitarist was now accompanied by a new drummer. While the band obviously sounded quite different then previous incarnations, they still had the same heavy pop charm and tight compositions.
Cousins - HPX Day 2
Cousins - HPX Day 2
Cousins - HPX Day 2
Of course all the buzz and excitement built to it’s peak for San Fransico’s Thee Oh Sees, long time psych/garage rockers and no doubt an influence on the newest wave of dark and heavy garage rock in Halifax. As exected their set was highly entheusiastic, with the crowd probably outdoing the band in antics, diving, jumping, moshing, and surfing all around the front of stage. The band’s repeative, bass and drum driven beats topped with space echo’d vocals and wild 12 string guitar playing churned even the stoniest audience members into the frienzy of sweat and beards and shirtlessness.
Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2
Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2
Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2
Thee Oh Sees - HPX Day 2
After fighting to stay up right all set against the swaying crowd, I stumbled back out into the rain as the closing notes of the band faded away behind me. Three more days to go.


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