Venue: The Relentless Garage Support Bands: Final Flash, Dead Wolf Club Date: 19/08/10 On Thursday 19 August Canadian rock outfit The Besnard Lakes played the Relentless Garage; showcasing tunes from their third release, The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night as well as enchanting onlookers with an array of songs from their acclaimed back catalogue. I arrived just in time to catch openers Dead Wolf Club rip the place to shreds with a tirade of crashing drums, cascading guitars, eloquent bass lines and haunting vocal melodies, which were akin to the likes of Die! Die! Die!, MBV and These New Puritans in energy and accomplishment. Fellow Canadians Final Flash were next to take to the stage, incorporating classic alt-rock with folk-psyche elements to achieve an exciting, atmospheric soundscape. Loaded with dynamic guitars, keys and beats their set stylistically echoed acts such as Tokyo Police Club, Led Zep, Wolf Mother and Pink Floyd and raised the bar for the rest of the night. The Besnard Lakes, led by husband and wife Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, commenced their extensive set with the pastoral and ethereal ‘Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent’. With crystalline vocals and droning, ebbing guitars the band instantly transfixed their fans; displaying confidence and clear technical prowess throughout the intimate, yet simultaneously epic, number. Their majestic, experimental style continued through renditions of the show stopping, reverb drenched ‘Devastation’ and the moody, overtly rock ‘Glass Printer’. The tender and forlorn ‘Chicago Train’, slowly lurched, swirled and intensified with booming drums and beachy harmonies and guitars, which showed skill and versatility. The band then segued into a rendition of ‘Light Up The Night’, which ached with warm, deep, coherent musical beauty that surged to an uplifting climax. ‘Albatross’ followed, evoking elements of Fleetwood Mac, Broken Social Scene and The Cocteau Twins through the powerful, droning guitar backdrop and whispy vocals. The number received an ecstatic reaction from the crowd; a solitary figure near the front even held up a lighter and swayed along to the dreamy, fuzzing melody which was undeniably the highlight of the set. There were many enjoyable aspects to the night; great supporting acts paved the way for the post-shoegazing veteran’s triumphant return. That said, as a newcomer to TBL I was left feeling slightly underwhelmed, in fact the most exciting part for me was the epic use of dry ice. Perhaps at times they were overly sedate and possibly lacking a little variation in their 11 song set. The two encores also seemed a tad overzealous, despite the positive response from avid fans. That said, whilst I can’t claim to have been won over, it is obvious that they are band with immense and commendable talent and it can’t be denied that their numerous textured, creative and dynamic renditions left their enamoured audience enthralled.