November 18, 2006

The Dears, AJs Alehouse, Kingston, 15 November 2006

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 10:36 am by rgsc

Photo from The Dear’s show at the Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent, 28 January 2005, courtesy of Peripheral Anomaly – check out this site for a ton of great concert photos.

Kingston was visited by The Dears on Wednesday for the first time in three years. I didn’t attend their last show here but I heard it described as “Murray’s drunken debacle.” With that in mind I wasn’t really sure what to expect of the band. Would it be a stellar show? or a glorious mess? Thankfully, it was the former (although it might have been fun to write about a debacle) and Murray Lightburn and Co. were nothing but professional, tight and all business. With essentially no crowd interaction, The Dears tore through the better part of their new album, “Gang of Losers,” along with a number of tracks drawn from previous recordings, primarily “No Cities Left”. Every song, even those that start of slow and/or soft, would inevitably rise and build into passionate epics. It is a wonder that Lightburn is able to speak let alone sing as he pushes his vocals to their limits on every song. He was accompanied by wonderful dual backing vocals and the band sounded fantastic, featuring some rather blistering guitar and some wonderful flute played on “Never Destroy Us”. Also of note was Murray’s keytar which he broke out at the end. Nothing says rawk like a keytar. They played a really full and well paced set and after a brief break they came back out onstage. Their encore was jamm-y but it didn’t really feel that they were being self-indulgent (I’m looking at you, Metric). The Dears are playing thier third Toronto show in a row tonight before hitting Western Canada and the US. I highly recommend you check them out if you can.

photo by Steve Asenjo at the Electric Ballroom, Camden, London on November 1st, 2005
I am quite excited by this recording and not only because The Dears played a great show. This was my first attempt at taping a concert with my shiny, new minidisc recorder. I think you will agree that the results are pretty stellar. So long tapehiss, you will go the way of the “cold war and card catalogues” and won’t be missed (well, actually I still have a heap of analog recordings that will be appearing here now and then). Now I just need to get my shit together and design my new website and then we will have really entered a new, more professional, era of b(oot)loggin’.

photos by Steve Asenjo at the Electric Ballroom, Camden, London on November 1st, 2005
The Dears, AJs Alehouse, Kingston, 15 November 2006

1) Sinthro/Ticket To Immortality.mp3

2) Bandwagoneers.mp3

3) Whites Only Party.mp3

4) Death Or Life We Want You.mp3

5) Lost in the Plot.mp3

6) The Second Part.mp3

7) Ready? talk.mp3

8 ) Never Destroy Us (Die Die Die).mp3

9) We Can Have It.mp3

10) 22: The Death Of All The Romance.mp3

11) Fear Made the World Go ‘Round.mp3

12) You and I are a Gang of Losers.mp3

13) There Goes My Outfit.mp3

14) Hate Then Love.mp3

15) outro.mp3

16) Cheering.mp3

17) Postcard from Purgatory.mp3

18) I Fell Deep.mp3

Buy Gang of Losers at Arts&Crafts and cds and shirts and stuff Maple Music.


  1. Roland said,

    Hey, thanks for this; I should really get into the Dears more. As much as I love Metric, I’m inclined to agree with you on the indulgent encore sentiment. They could just play older tracks for an encore, like the Dears do here. Keep up the good work.

  2. optimuscrime said,

    That’s awesome. My cohost Jared and I played one of the tracks off your Final Fantasy bootleg last week on CFRC. Looking forward to more live music. 🙂

  3. rgsc said,

    Hey Roland – I have flirted with the Dears for a while but only recently really started paying attention – wish I would have started listening earlier as I have some catchup to do now. I definitely would recommend you take some time and look into them. I was wondering if I would get some flak for the Metric comment. The first time I saw them I thought the 9min. Dead Disco was kinda cool but it really started to feel a bit over the top. As does some of the guitar solos on Live it Out. They just don’t seem to be needed in my opinion.

    Hey OC – I was driving to work on Friday when I heard the FF song come on. It is pretty cool to hear it on the radio. And it didn’t sound too bad, a little hiss but not enough to detract from it. Before this recording I think that the FF was the best that I recorded. Too bad I am an idoit and only recorded the first half. Such a fantastic show.

  4. rgsc said,

    PS OC – I was gonna ask this on your site but you haven’t posted your set list for this week. If you happen to read this, is there any chance I can get that in-studio Jill Barber track that you played? The cfrc archives are acting a bit funky it seems, or i would try to get it from there.

  5. EvilJam said,

    the band seems a bit over the top – can’t really figure out what they’re about – but we’ll still play some of their stuff on our show.

  6. colin said,

    how much did you pay for your recording set-up and what is it?

  7. Jane said,

    I write up London shows and it sounds like The Dears are building on what was good about them when I saw them last year (gig had its shambolic moments, they must have got it together since then). Here’s my review –

  8. rgsc said,

    EvilJam – the accusation of melodrama has (not unfoundingly) been made rather frequently against the Dears. They are a bit over the top but in a really great way. They are serious about what they do – seeing Lightburn perform is like witnessing an ecstatic (in the religious sense) experience. It is all passion. What is your show? The link took me to a stream – do you have a website you can point me to?

    Colin – I use a Sony Hi-MD MZ-M10 minidisc recorder with a Sony ECM-719 Stereomic. The minidisc recorder was a gift so I am not sure the exact price but they go for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 canadian (sony just released a new model which retails for $420CDN) and the mic cost about $100. Worth every penny.

    Jane – nice review(s). They were certainly tight when I saw them. As I said, all business. They are amazing when they do what they do best – epic, but not really sprawling, orchestral pop. I’ve said it before: powerful stuff.

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