Review: Tegan and Sara, HMV Picturehouse, 15/11/09

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Kim Humphrey reports.

I’ve been a fan of Tegan and Sara since the beginning of Grey’s Anatomy (we’re talking 2005 here), where musical directors seemed to insist on constantly featuring songs from their So Jealous album, so you can imagine how excited I was to actually be able to go and see them live. And they certainly weren’t a disappointment.

Touring around Europe to promote an album released less than a month ago, Tegan and Sara were very understanding that few would know their new songs. The result was a set list with a lovely balance between older songs and songs from their new album.

Probably the best part of the gig though was how interactive the two singers were. After a few songs, they’d give various anecdotes about growing up in Canada before starting another song, and both seemed genuinely happy to receive an applause after each and every song - at least one would say “Thank you” to the audience for clapping. They seemed greatly amused at the amount of attention they received, at one point contractually dedicating a song to a boy in order to get him to stop screaming after every time they spoke, and having to deal with the fact that one fan threw their bra on stage (as both are openly gay, they seem to have become icons for the gay community), despite their obvious discomfort. Throughout the gig they remained aware of who was watching them and what they were doing; at one point becoming concerned and stopping mid-song to tell the crowd to part for security who were removing a girl who has started throwing punches.

The only negative thing I can say about the gig was the fact that there was no encore. However, instead of the self-indulgent farce of waiting for a crowd to cheer you back on stage, Tegan and Sara simply played a longer set: playing the songs intended for the encore, but without the awkward moving off and on stage. Walking out of the Picture House, I know some fans were disappointed in this, but I wasn’t. Each song was performed brilliantly, and the band was genuinely happy to be there.

If they ever come back round I highly suggest you go see them, I definitely will.

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