Their headlining appearance at the Copper Owl this January proved that as good as the band’s 2011 eponymous EP is, the songs therein are undoubtedly more urgent and vital to their live skin. While Bonehoof is a band who thrives in the moment, they also stand outside of time. Their confounding and rapidly growing setlist straddles decades — at once reminiscent of The Seeds, The Band, and Wilco, Bonehoof’s is a sound at once warmly familiar and strangely other. This is a band that demands to be bootlegged.
Local darlings Carousels opened the Copper Owl evening. I have subsequently learned that Carousels have now disbanded, a harsh reality nothing short of tragic as their precocious Beirut-esque tunes continue to reverberate in my skull long after seeing them for the first time. Carousels were followed by Vancouver blues-rock duo The Shoes who at once invoked Janice Joplin and Jack White with their bluesy and boozy breed of rock and roll.
But the evening belonged to Bonehoof, whose stage presence is every bit as captivating as their music. Lead guitarist and singer Chris Lloyd, a cool and jewelled centre of so much musical mayhem, was flanked by Jack Weyler on Hammond Organ and Dallas Budd on bass guitar. Weyler, a familiar face about town as co-host of the Friday Night quiz, is much more sedate behind the ivories than the microphone of the quiz, while his Friday night co-host and Bonehoof band-mate, Benji Duke, is somehow even more vibrant and energetic on the skins. By the time Bonehoof finished playing their set-closer Peggy Powler, it was obvious that they are a band on the cusp of their prime.
words by Nick Lyons, photography by Ilijc Albanese.