Gig review: Vivian Girls
"THIS song is for the girls," announced Vivian Girls' bright-eyed bassist "Kickball" Katy Goodman before the perky call and response of Take It As It Comes. "There are, like, four of them in here," muttered one cynic at the back of the room.
It is true that boys seem to worship this trio of Ramones-style Brooklynite scenesters, but their music is uncompromising in its femininity. "You gotta be strong, girls," the above song urged in a deceptively sweet drive-in girl band croon. "Don't let yourselves down."
Vivian Girls' live show is very much one which works its way into your heart. In the tightly packed basement room of the Captain's Rest they initially appeared to be a regular bunch of loosely honed indie rockers, merging a wash of fuzz-toned noise and the pop style of Phil Spector in the time-honoured, not-too-polished manner of the Ramones themselves.
Their voices are the focus here, though. Over the course of such epic pop wonders as The Other Girls – centrepiece lyric: "I don't wanna be like the other girls" – Vanishing of Time and the unfeasibly chirpy Death, Goodman's vocal was a charming, girly trill, and singer/guitarist Cassie Ramone (their greatest influence once more explicit in her name) drew out each note like the string-pluck of an electric guitar. These combined with Goodman and drummer Fiona Campbell's insistent rhythms to create an effect which was dreamlike, hypnotic and ultimately very attractive – to boys and girls.