The Backhomes @ Copper Owl (Victoria, BC) 5/6/2015

The new Backhomes’ album ‘Tidalwave’ is one of my favourites this year, so I was pretty stoked to be going to their hometown album launch at the Copper Owl. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

The duo of Kees Dekker and Aimee Van Drimmelen do all of their own recording, although you would never know that given the professional, rich sound they produce. The same goes for their stage design and lighting, which I am guessing is thanks mainly to Van Drimmelen who is a visual artist in her own right. It was an interesting set-up, with the psychedelic light show of swirling horses, birds and geometric shapes being beamed on Van Drimmelen’s side of the stage, leaving Dekker in almost complete darkness except for a blood-red glow. Overall, it was highly effective in conveying the mood of whatever piece they were playing, be that dystopian future beat, ambient softness, or psych freak-out.

Although the verbal rapport with the audience was minimal (and frankly unnecessary) it was quite evident that ‘Tidalwave’ was the focus of the evening. In fact, they played nothing else. They performed the entire album – in reverse order. This struck me as interesting because the tracks on the album become more positive in tone as the album progresses. So, on this night the music became more ominous as the evening wore on. Somehow apropos.

Dekker provides all of the lead vocals, with Van Drimmelen singing back-up only occasionally. On stage, however, both partners have their hands full in conveying their “full band” sound. They each have to operate the various drum machines, samplers and what have you, as well as each playing electric guitar. If anything, Van Drimmelen was more of the multi-instrumentalist as she also played harmonica and lap slide guitar.

It was an evening to get zoned out on the groovy visuals and the excellent musicianship. Mission accomplished.

Read my review of The Backhomes’ Tidal Wave here now.