Gig review and photos: Fast Romantics at The Habitat, Kelowna

May 7, 2017
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Fast Romantics at the Habitat, Kelowna, 3 May 2017 - photo Brian Banks, Music ViceKirty and Matthew Angus of Fast Romantics, on stage at the Habitat, Kelowna

Who: Fast Romantics
Where: Habitat, Kelowna, BC, Canada
When: 3 May 2017
In one word: Complete

The Fast Romantics lived up to their name tonight in Kelowna, BC. Taking the stage sometime after 9pm, they let rip with a 1-2-3 combo that struck hard and fast, and straight to the heart. The first three songs played tonight were the first three songs off of their new album American Love, just released on 28 April. These songs were a compelling demonstration of just how far this Toronto based group have come.
Kicking off with “Everybody’s Trying To Steal Your Heart”, singer and frontman Matthew Angus didn’t take long to whip up some enthusiasm from the crowd inside Kelowna’s Habitat. By the second song “Why We Fight”, a big song that has had radio airplay across Canada on CBC this year, the Fast Romantic’s had drawn the audience closer to the stage, destroying the invisible barrier created by the weird podiums and stools that circle the dance floor inside the Habitat. Then with “American Love”, the 1-2-3- hat-trick of guts and gush was complete, as Angus coached the crowd to sing-a-long with the chorus, who duly abided by adding to the harmony while he did his best to channel his inner Springsteen. 
Girls swooned, guys grabbed their lady tight, and those hips and toes started to move. The Fast Romantics were on a roll. It was tight, and it was beautiful. The energy was infectious. Angus led from the front, frequently brandishing the mic stand and going to the stage edge, while the rest of the members shared a unity in their presence and energy. I’ve seen thousands of gigs, but rarely do you get a set that felt as complete as the Fast Romantic’s gave tonight.

Big guitars, catchy hooks, electric energy. And those melodies. The Fast Romantics have seemingly overnight become one of the best and essential indie rock bands in Canada. The reality is though, that you don’t start cranking out records of the calibre of American Love without a lot of graft…
I first heard about the Fast Romantics some six years ago, while chatting to singer Darren McDade of the Black Phoenix Orchestra at a bar in Toronto. He told me about this exciting band from Alberta who were heading to Toronto that summer. The first time I saw the Fast Romantics, sometime later that summer in 2011, I recall them as being a punchy four piece (I think?). The Fast Romantics I saw tonight in 2017 were a different animal. Now with some line-up changes, six members, and a notable addition with singer-songwriter Kirty on keyboards, vocals and occasionally a trumpet, who provides a female counter-balance to Angus. Kirty adds further zip and romance to the mix. And what a beautiful mix it is. 
It’s damn exciting to see a band grow, develop, and reach a moment in their craft where they can make a record as fantastic as American Love. The blood, sweat and tears sometimes pays off. 

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

Fast Romantics at the Habitat:

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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