Abandoned by an unnamed drummer and facing a crowd of less-than-thrilled fans-most of whom had waited nearly two hours for entertainment that did not involve pre-recorded, remixed oldies-The Raveonettes had their work cut out for them. The band’s Thursday night performance at Velvet Jones was widely publicized as an “early gig.” Adorably illustrated tickets for the event were insistent on a 7 p.m. arrival. Lucky for promoters and club owners alike, lead singer Sharin Foo and her bassist-cum-right-hand-man Sune Rose Wagner did not take the stage until well after 8:30 p.m., leaving plenty of time for fans to feast on an over-priced, unsatisfying liquid dinner.
But, like any good rockers, the duo took to the stage without as much as a falter in their steps. The notably soft-spoken Foo stood dollishly behind a single snare at the start of the set, and then quickly traded up for her signature Fender. Noting briefly that her drummer had bailed at the last minute, Foo launched into “Love in a Trashcan” and all ill will was forgotten.
The Raveonettes-currently on tour in support of their soon-to-be-released follow-up to 2005’s Pretty in Black-held their own despite the lack of a rhythm section. Aside from the technical problems that repeatedly left the duo awash in reverb and feedback, the band seemed more confident and at ease on stage than ever before.
In between the upbeat “Sleepwalking” and “Twilight,” the two played a number of delightfully meandering selections from Pretty in Black. Kitsch circa 1950 and ’60 truly took center stage as the pair-originally hailing from Copenhagen-sang unabashedly about surfing, Texas, and ex-boyfriends. Simplistic arrangements were contrasted with intricate solos by both Wagner and Foo, who proved that despite the setback, they could hold their own in a jam session with the best of their contemporaries.
Soft-spoken tendencies aside, Foo seemed to warm to her fans fairly quickly, exclaiming, “Next time, drums!” before launching into “Want the Candy,” one of many tracks the duo performed off their currently untitled forthcoming release. Nostalgic though they may be, the Raveonettes have ambitiously high hopes for the future. The second half of Foo and Wagner’s nearly hour-and-a-half-long set was brimming with new material. Foo stoically introduced “Lost” and “Death by Deceit” as newly penned tunes, but countered her aloofness in song, singing and strumming with an energy that overwhelmed most of the audience.